A kickoff meeting is the first official meeting between a project team and an internal or external project stakeholder(s). A kickoff meeting signifies the official start of a project.
The purpose of the kickoff is to get the right people in the room at the right time to lay the foundation of a successful project. It is an opportunity to ensure the stakeholders are aligned on the goals, the scope, the timelines, and other factors that determine the course of the project.
It typically takes place after the statement of work has been finalized.
As the first meeting between the project team and possibly the customer or sponsor, the kickoff is the best time to set expectations, understand project goals, and set the tone for future meetings.
For external projects, the kickoff is a project team’s chance to make a great first impression, get a strong contextual understanding of the project, and set the stage for a good working relationship with the customer.
Also read: Pulling off the ultimate kickoff meeting