Tips for a Successful Project Kickoff with Industry and Government

Tips for a Successful Project Kickoff with Industry and Government

After working hard to negotiate and win work with government and industry, it is important you kick off the project in the best way to ensure success. Focusing on these areas during kick-off will set you up for success:

RELATIONSHIPS & ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Parties usually bring a lot of goodwill and positivity when kicking off a new project. Building positive rapport and connection upfront, combined with discussion of the practicalities will set you in good stead. Determine who are the key contacts (and delegations) for the project. Don’t shy away from very clearly confirming the roles and responsibilities of different team members. For example, your program approvals contact in your government or industry project will often not be the same contact for invoicing or finance. Using a “RASCI chart” outlining who is Responsible / Accountable / Supporting / Consulted / Informed for items within your project helps to keep things clear for the whole project team.

SCOPE CHECK

Scope: what you have to do, and what your project must achieve.

With Government and Industry, clearly articulate what is in and out of scope in your contract and again in your onboarding meetings with stakeholders. Even though the contract states your Scope of Work, ironing out any possible different interpretations upfront is time well spent. Although your intent may be clear to you, if the scope is not interpreted the same way by your government or industry partner this will likely result in more work or other difficulties as the project progresses. Make sure everyone is crystal clear.

Ultimately projects need to work within the bounds of the project management Triple Constraint: Scope, Cost, Time and meet defined Quality expectations. It is worth exploring with your clients, if the project came under a lot of pressure, which of the constraints is most important for them. For example, is it deadline at all costs? Or must quality be maintained above a threshold even if the time blows out?

PLAN FOR CHANGE

Most good projects have some change. The aim of project management is not to tie everything down rigidly. Well managed projects embrace change, just in a clearly defined and well-communicated way, so that everyone moves forward together in the new direction. At your kick-off, discuss what your change process will be: How will you communicate; documentation required, and confirm delegations for proposing and accepting changes. Formally documenting these in the project plan and undertaking formal variations to contracts when change arises, keeps the relationships you worked so hard to build positive, and keeps the project on track to achieve something great.

Kick-off is the time to ask any and all “stupid questions” which could save a lot of difficulties later. Invest your time and energy upfront and reap the rewards throughout your project.

For further information, contact Ellen Bussell, Head of Project Management.

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