Checklist for Running a Successful Project Kickoff Meeting

Depositphotos 6695591 s 2015By Roy Rasmussen

The U.S. construction industry continues to grow in 2017, with Dodge Data & Analytics projecting that the industry is moving into a mature phase of measured expansion. Total construction starts will rise 5 percent to $713 billion, with 8 percent gains for both residential and nonresidential building. One thing this means for construction firms is more kickoff meetings in the near future. A successful kickoff meeting helps set a project off on the right foot and get things moving in the right direction. Here’s a checklist of items to help you make sure your next kickoff meeting goes off without a hitch.

Decide Desired Outcomes in Advance

A major purpose of a kickoff meeting is for the project superintendent, subcontractors and material vendors to agree on the ground rules for working together. Additionally, the meeting helps manage client expectations, while gathering information that will be essential for meeting those expectations. The meeting further sets the tone of the relationship between the client and construction team.

One desired outcome is to introduce the client to the construction team and introduce the team members to each other, and to do so in a way that sets a positive tone.

A second desired outcome is to gather whatever information is needed from the client. Making a list of required information is a prerequisite for achieving this goal.

A third desired outcome is to agree on how team members will work together with each other and with the client. Make a list of key collaboration areas that need to be agreed upon, such as material handling, temporary storage, and safety, for example.

Set Agenda Items

To achieve your desired outcomes, it’s essential to prepare a detailed agenda. The Department of Energy (DOE) provides an online template for a construction kickoff meeting standard agenda. Items that should be covered include:

  • Introductions
  • A review of meeting objectives
  • Defining responsibilities of team members
  • Defining communications protocols for processes of sending and approving messages
  • Deliverables, including ensuring client understanding of deliverables, identifying which deliverables are required prior to construction release, discussing scope changes and related issues such as safety and quality control, bonding and insurance, and updating implementation schedules
  • Reviewing contract clauses
  • Discussing site-specific facility access and security requirements, if any
  • Detailing design and construction schedules
  • Environmental health and safety planning
  • Outages and permits
  • Planned agenda structures for plan of the day/plan of the week meetings

Use this as starting point, consulting the DOE’s template for additional details, and modify as needed to define your agenda.

Establish Technology Expectations

Technology is becoming an increasingly important part of architectural planning, with digital blueprints and augmented reality frequently being used to give clients realistic project previews. If you intend to use this type of technology, introducing it during your kickoff meeting is a good way to accustom clients and team members to how you’ll be incorporating it into your future meetings.

If you plan to use virtual meeting software to include remote participants in your meetings, you should also introduce it during your kickoff meeting. Make sure all participants understand what type of technology will be needed, that they have access to it, that they have set-up assistance if needed, and that they know how to use it.

Add a Human Touch

Use name tags to help everyone remember each other’s names. Make some small talk to get to know each other, asking clients questions about their backgrounds. Share some coffee and snacks to promote bonding. Consider extending an invitation to a social event, such as a dinner or sporting event.

Roy Rasmussen, co-author of "Publishing for Publicity," is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing and career planning.

Current Issue

Check out our latest edition!


alan blog ct

Contact Us

Construction Today Magazine
150 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60601


Click here for a full list of contacts.

Latest Edition

Spread The Love

Back To Top