I come back to the subject if the project start meeting or kick-off meeting (wich had been already discussed in an article on September, 2012 – check it at http://www.arbache.com/blog/2012/09/kick%E2%80%90off-meeting-%E2%80%93-o-in%C3%ADcio-do-sucesso-ou-do-fracasso.html to add a strategy that I had created above the professional experiences (and mistakes) ; – the “previous” kick-off!
Keep in mind! The project start meeting or kick-off meeting, more than an opportunity to gather the ones more involved in the project and allow their lider to show security on the project planning, it has a major political goal! –Explicit the sponsor support and his/her desire that all participants contribute with the lidershipe of the project and its goals. In order to do that, it’s necessary that a few words of the sponsor give the impression that the project is relevant to the organization’s strategy and that each person must collaborate with his/her part on the plan. Message sent, the leadership of the project can lead the meeting, detailing the planning with a deepening degree. However, this is a risky moment , that brings the main topic of this conversation; – let’s suppose that, at the begining of the planning-project demonstration with its goals and roles, the sponsor, that was watching to the presentation be – yes, him!, the first to question aspects of the planning. If the sponsor give the impression that he/she is not confortable and has doubts about any aspect of the project, the situation will bring a dark cloud of distrust of political backing for the project’s leadership and, a gigant increased risk of failure.
There is a strategy to mitigate this risk, wich I call “previous” kick-off. The ideia is to meet with your sponsor before the start meeting, in order to personally show what will be presented. Using the thought that you are prioritizing the sponsor’s opinion (and even objection), this meeting will allow you to see if there is any doubt or disagreement and, the most important, give yourself the chance of making any adjustments before the official meeting. More than that, this meeting is an opportunity to inform the sponsor the planned agenda and what is expect of him in the meeting.
With a sponsors lined up, you can present the Project much more secure, trusting in your success.