Does your project get off to a clean start?


The beauty of a 100 meter race is that everyone starts the race together. The race cannot be started without a clean start. Can the same be said of your projects? Does your project get off to a clean start?

Not according to people who come along on our project management training workshops.

They say that the start to their project is often haphazard and often poorly managed (if at all). What they do not say but is plain to see is that this poor start up is the cause of many issues that hit project later on. Comments received include:

• I was not even aware this was a project; I was asked to do some work and the next thing I knew I was in a 5 month long project. My boss was far from pleased

• We were like a car with an engine problems; turning over but not getting very far

• I was not clear why we were doing the project

• I was involved but not clear what my role involved

• I was not in favour of doing of doing this project – I queried whether this fitted our strategy and did not receive a response!

Some people have told us that they do have a planned and a structured start and the kick off meeting really helped in ensuring this took place.

Kick off meetings really help focus the minds of people and are vital to get that ‘clean start’. I wonder why there seem to be so few clean starts.

Is this your experience – why not let us all know and the impact this had on projects.

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5 Responses to Does your project get off to a clean start?

  1. Hi Ron – please see – engaging your PM team in a kick-off meeting – maybe it can help some of your readers.

  2. This is really good insight.

    As a rule of thumb its always good to have a project kick-off meeting. The duration of the meeting can be varied depending on the importance, criticality and complexity of the project. A simple project can have just a 30 minute meeting, but at least it is a clean start. On the other hand I had a manic 18-person project, which had to be completed 4 times faster than a credible schedule. In this case, I took a whole day with very careful structure, clarity and a great deal of motivational, ‘We’ll fight them on the beaches’, type of talk. It worked very well and the project was delivered on time. My message is, always have a kick-off meeting, just tailor the length as appropriate.

  3. Priyanka D says:

    Another reason I have found is that the management does not give out entire information. Then two teams are working on overlapping projects in isolation rather than collaboratively.

  4. Ron says:

    Paul, I agree!! Put well and it shows the concept works! What a shame ALL projects do not follwo your example.


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