Successful Kick-Off Meeting Tips for Business Analysts

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

The initial meetings that are held before a project is finally given the green light t go ahead can set the tone for everything that follows so, as a business analyst, make sure you understand what constitutes a successful kick-off meeting for your next project. And make sure you are well-prepared by following these tips so that you do have a successful kick-off meeting on your next project.



Establish The Goals and Objectives

The very first thing that everyone needs to understand are the goals and objectives – the vision if you like. And the business analyst is perfectly placed to help everyone appreciate what needs to be achieved and to help establish a common goal that everyone will want to work towards by laying out the benefits of completing this particular project. When people truly understand the benefits then they will be happy to come along for the ride.


Team Roles & Responsibilities

A business analyst may not be directly responsible for defining team roles and responsibilities but a BA can help identify the most appropriate team members and influence who is assigned to what role. The BA can also ensure communication is easy by ensuring everyone is absolutely clear about responsibilities, that it is documented and individuals contact details are readily available.


Define Success Criteria

All projects should have expectations clearly laid out from the start so that there is no doubt whether it is a success or not come the final day. Success needs to be measurable and to be measurable it needs to have success criteria defined from the start and, importantly, agreed by all from the start.


Potential Risks

Most, if not all, projects will experience problems of one sort or another throughout their lifecycle so identifying potential problems at the outset can ensure that you are well-prepared to take any mitigating action if they do occur. Business analysts can provide essential input into identifying risks and proposing solutions or alternatives in difficult situations.


Ensuring Effective Communication

Effective communication does not come about by chance; communication procedures need to be specifically documented and formally put in place. There might be particular issues to overcome such as team members based in different locations or in different timezones but by establishing a consistent process these issues can be overcome, For instance, this could be as simple as scheduling a weekly conference call and using a simple real-time app like Basecamp, Freedcamp or Asana. The decision on which tools to use should be agreed with everyone, the tools must be made available to everyone and everyone should be committed to use them, especially if they are tools that show real-time status. It is essential that statuses are updated if these tools are to be relied on and to be useful.


Additional Information

If there are additional data that will be useful in presenting the benefits of the project to everyone at the kick-off meeting, or visual aids that could be useful in helping people understand difficult concepts then make sure you have this information readily available as a presentation or slide show prior to the meeting.




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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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