Hello again. In this video, you will learn how to schedule a kickoff meeting, once you're ready to shift into planning mode. It's important to schedule a meeting that will serve as a formal start to project planning. You might be wondering what a kickoff meeting is and how it differs from other types of meetings. That's a great question. A project kickoff meeting is the first meeting in which a project team comes together to ground everyone in a shared vision, gain a shared understanding of the project's goals and scope, and to understand each person's individual roles within the team. So who's invited to the kickoff meeting? Well, that would be the team members identified in a RACI chart, created during the initiation phase. As a reminder, a RACI chart helps to define roles and responsibilities for individuals or teams to ensure that the work gets done efficiently. During the kickoff meeting, team members will learn more about how they'll contribute to the project and how they'll gain a deeper understanding of how the team will work together to reach the project's goals. You should also invite your stakeholders and your sponsor to the meeting, so that they have a chance to understand the high-level plan for the project, can share their perspective, and you can ensure that everyone is on the same page. Now, you might be wondering, why do I need a kickoff meeting? Can't my team learn everything they need to know from the project charter? We get it. Meetings can be time-consuming, and there are definitely situations when a quick email or a chat to a teammate will suffice. But when you're kicking off a project, especially larger projects with multiple people involved, it's important to get together to establish a shared vision, align on the scope, and build team rapport. This is also an opportunity for teammates to ask questions and offer insights, and it's a great time for you to set expectations with the team about how each person will individually contribute to the project. Now, let's discuss how to plan and run a kickoff meeting. There are lots of templates for kickoff meeting agendas online, but most follow a similar structure and last about an hour. Keep in mind that this is just a suggestion, and you should feel free to schedule as much or as little time for each agenda item according to the needs of your project and the team. Most meetings start with brief introductions. You can allocate about 10 minutes for everyone in the group to introduce themselves and their roles, and if time allows, share a fun fact to help build team rapport. Then you'll spend about five minutes giving an overview of the background of the project. This covers details like how the project came to be and why the project matters. You'll also use this time to set a shared vision. Next, spend about five minutes sharing the goals and the scope, which refers to the boundaries around a project. That includes making it clear what work is considered in-scope, and what work is considered out-of-scope. This is also a good place to share the target launch date and highlight any important milestones the team needs to be aware of. Once you've covered goals and scope, it's time to discuss everyone's roles. It's a good idea to spend about five minutes making sure that everyone is clear on what work they'll be responsible for throughout the duration of the project. Next, it's time to address collaboration, which is how the team will work together on the project. This is a great time to go over tools that will serve as a communal source of information for the team, like a project plan created in a spreadsheet or work management software tool like Asana. It's also a great time to determine how the team will communicate with one another, like through daily email updates, a team chat room, and weekly team check-in meetings. You should spend about 10 minutes on this topic. When that's all set, it's time to discuss what comes next. Now that you've discussed the details of the project thus far, you should spend about 10 minutes setting expectations with your teammates for what's coming up. You'll also use this time to make clear to each teammate what actions they will need to take next. Finally, it's really important to set aside about 15 minutes for questions from the group. This is your team's chance to gain clarity on any of the topics you've discussed so far. It's also your chance to hear from the team and ensure that the project is benefiting from diversity of thoughts, experiences, and ideas. For example, in addition to fielding questions out loud in the meeting, I might invite teammates to input their questions or feedback in a shared document. This practice can help create space for collaboration. I also like to poll my teammates for confidence on the topics discussed that day. I ask what their confidence level is on a scale of one to five: one being "I'm not confident at all," and five being "I'm extremely confident." If they're not confident, I ask them what I can do to help change that. This practice can give the team a stronger sense of support, because they know I'm there to help them through roadblocks. If you try this practice in your meetings, be sure to deliver on any promises you make there. Your reputation as a project manager to get things done and remove roadblocks is critical to building and maintaining relationships. So to recap, the kickoff meeting will cover introductions, project background, goals and scope, roles, collaboration, and what comes next, and the meeting will leave time for questions from the group at the end. Once you've finalized the meeting agenda, document this information into a meeting agenda template, and send it to attendees a day or two ahead of the meeting. As the project manager, you'll be leading the majority of this meeting, and when you're presenting, it's difficult to take notes and present at the same time. So, at the start of the meeting, ask a teammate to take notes on key points you discussed throughout the session and to record each teammate's action items. In some cases, it may be beneficial to record this meeting so that attendees can revisit it later, especially if you have a large or dispersed team. Just be sure to get each attendee's permission to record ahead of time. After the meeting, don't forget to send a follow-up email to the group, summarizing key points and outcomes from the meeting, as well as any action items to the attendees. In your follow-up email, be sure to also invite attendees to reach out if they have any additional questions. While there's a lot that goes into the kickoff meeting, remember that this is an exciting moment for the team and especially for you as the project manager. All of the careful thinking and hard work that you've done during the initiation phase comes together to form the foundation of your project. Coming up, we'll learn about milestones, tasks, and how they differ. Meet you in the next video.