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Michael Ryan

February 10, 2011 in NPD, PLM

Ready for kick off

This weekend is the Manchester derby

City and scum

If I knew anything about football, I would write a long metaphor about a team talk in advance of the big match.  The manager would walk in as the team are getting ready.  He’d talk about their opponents and say something inspiring about how everything depends on this game. The team would talk about what they were going to do. The manager would draw some sweeping lines on a chalk board and everyone would show that that they understood by saying “Yes Guv”. As you can probably tell, I don’t know anything about football strategy apart from what I’ve seen in films or TV programs.  I have been involved in a few project kick off meetings though. The project kick off meeting should be first team activity once your project has been approved. In yesterday’s blog, I gave you some of the questions to ask:
  • Do we know what we are doing this for?
  • Is what we are doing it for measurable?
  • What needs to happen for it to be success (or what would we stop the project for if it wasn’t happening)?
  • Which individuals are going to do deliver what and by when?
So why is this meeting so important?
  • It gets everybody focussed on the goal (pun?) as well as the process.  It’s not just about them delivering something; it’s about them delivering something that creates a benefit.
  • It makes sure that everybody understands what they are doing before the game begins.  The manager can still guide from the side lines but the team has a focus to carry them through.
  • It also helps the team understand how the game is going to be played.  As well as agreeing the goal and the steps to deliver it, the kick off meeting should also help the team understand how they are going to communicate with each other or what to do if they see a risk or issue.
Here are some common reasons why they might not happen:
  • Who needs any more meetings?
  • That sounds like it would take a really long time
  • Not everybody involved will attend
If the excuses look familiar remember that it might take a change in behaviour but it is an important step in getting your product development process working, especially if it is new to some. Do you hold a meeting like this?  If so, do you find it useful?  If not, would it help?

1 response to Ready for kick off

  1. I’ll make my disclaimer now. Some of this content may have been influenced by Monkey 1.

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