November 17, 2022

Kicking Projects Kickoffs

Large companies love project kickoffs. They seem to represent an efficient way to jumpstart a project and achieve quicker results.

Yet, many kickoffs are (at best) none of these things. Most are a waste of time. And, I’d argue, they actually delay results because they force superficial planning at the start. Not to say project kickoffs are a doomed practice.

They can be very useful. But it requires stepping far away of most companies daily-norm. Why? Because successful kickoffs, in essence, need to be a waste of productive time. A large part of the team needs to go be thrown together and dragged through many of the topics at hand. Without much time to dig into any specific area.

Here’s the thing, kickoffs are not about kick-starting a project, they’re about resetting previous beliefs and notions of those involved. To allow them to come up with a new type of solution. 

The kickoff itself needs to strike a balance between discussing issues, without starting to work on them, and still have the group interact with each other enough that a team bond comes out of it. All of this usually without significant budget and/or with business as usual sending a message/email to derail attention.

Obviously, I just finished one of these. It feels like it was successful, but won’t be clear until we start working on it.

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