Checklist for Project Kickoff

Jennifer Bridges, PMP, discusses some of the items you need to do to prepare your project for kick off.


In Review

Jennifer provided a checklist you can use to kickoff your project. In the initiation phase you have a lot to think about. This handy whiteboard session and list will make your project start more smoothly.

Jennifer listed 10 items on this project to-do list:

  1. Project Charter Document – define project requirements and contracts
  2. Client’s Needs and Priorities – Document now to create a baseline, knowing they will likely change throughout the project.
  3. The Project Plan – Seek input and review early for sign off in time for the kickoff.
  4. Team Member Roles – Create org chart and define clear roles and responsibilities.
  5. Scope of Work – Define whats in, and out, of scope.
  6. Project Schedule – Develop timeline and milestones for overall project
  7. Project Budget – Define and request targets and reserve funds
  8. Project Reviews – Determine key dates for review and stakeholders involved
  9. PM Processes – Outline processes for managing change, risk, procurement plus any quality assurance or quality control.
  10. PM Expectations – Communicate how people should work with you and the project. Set up clear guidelines.

Pro-Tip: Involve your team early on in the process in the spirit of collaboration and transparency. While the project hasn’t officially kicked off yet, inviting your team to help define process and provide input on the planning process, will set your team up for cohesion and success.

New managers can fall into unproductive behavior, so before that becomes a habit it helps to know what those common mistakes managers make are, which is outlined in this useful article from the Wall Street Journal.

Thanks for watching!



Hello, I’m Jennifer Bridges, Director, Welcome to our white board session today on your project kick off checklist. Have you ever been to one of those meetings where the project manager was totally unprepared and everyone was just lost on why they were there? Or even what the project was about? Well, here’s a checklist that you can use to not only get you straight before your project starts, but also get you prepared before your kick off meeting. So what would be on this kick off checklist?

So first of all, most project managers are dealing with multiple projects. So, we want to first identify, “What is the project name?” and “Who is the client?” The client could be some business unit internally, or could be an external client. You want to identify “Who is the project manager?” That would be you. And the date. So here is some of the things that need to be done in preparation. So there is a lot of work to be done before you kick off.

Number one: is the contract. Making sure you have a signed contract that authorizes you, as the project manager, to begin this project. Not only the contract for the project, but also contracts for other vendor partners and other partners that you are going to need, who are part of this project.

Number two: clearly identifying and documenting the client needs and the priorities. Because as time changes throughout the project, those needs and priorities are going to change. So you want to document what those initial base line needs and priorities are.

Number three: Then you want to have project plan documented. Probably before the kick off we’re going to have submitted that to different team members, your stake holders, your change control board. Just making sure that it’s updated and revised and finalized before your kick off.

Then you want to be sure you identify your team member roles. So you have a register of who is on the team. Who’s on there, what organization do they represent, what role would they be playing for the project.

Number five: The scope of the work. Identifying what’s in scope, and more importantly, what’s out of scope. You want to identify the scope, maybe, if you are doing a phased approach. What will be done in different phases.

Number six is the project schedule. The timeline, the milestones for your project.

Also, identifying the project budget. So you know how much money you have to spend on what specific items.

Number eight is project reviews. Going ahead and having, since you have your schedule by this point, identifying when the project reviews will be. Including the milestones.

Number nine is a big part. The project management processes. Documenting how you are going to manage change, risk, the procurement of different items on your project, administration, any quality assurance or quality control.

And then number 10: The project manager expectations. Each project manager are different, but you need to identify what your expectations are. How you best work. How people can best communicate with you. Are you best to, like if you travel a lot, is it best to reach you by mobile phone? by texting? by email? And knowing when you are going to be available.

So these are some of the items that make an effective checklist in preparing you for your project kick off. If you need a tool that can help your kick off, then signup for our software now at

Join Us

Copyright 2015 ©
3420 Executive Center Dr, Austin, Texas, 78731