As a digital agency, we pride ourselves on creating solutions that go beyond pretty websites or flashy marketing tactics. We define success in terms of the results our clients are able to accomplish with what we create. The project kickoff meeting sets the tone for success by ensuring the proper processes are in place to meet project deadlines and provide high-quality deliverables throughout the duration of the partnership.
Whether you’re considering working with an agency to take your digital marketing to the next level, or you just signed on to work with eCity on a new website or campaign, here’s what you can expect from the initial project kickoff meeting.
What is a project kickoff meeting?
The primary purpose of a project kickoff meeting is to establish communication methods between the client and the agency, and finalize project timelines. This helps ensure team alignment from the start, leading to more successful projects and fewer deadlines missed.
A project kickoff meeting helps everyone involved put a face to a name and get to know each other better. When possible, we recommend conducting a project kickoff meeting in person, but for some clients, the location can require that a kickoff meeting takes place virtually, through a video client or over the phone. The meeting typically starts with team introductions, transitions into a recap of the strategy and goals for the project, and ends with logistical considerations such as preferred communication channels, budget considerations, and a proposed timeline.
What are the goals of the project kickoff?
Introduce the Team: In many instances, the project kickoff is the first opportunity the agency has to meet with the client face to face. Therefore, it’s good to introduce both the agency and client teams. This way, everyone involved will have a better idea of the role each individual plays in the organization and how this will impact the project moving forward.
Review the Project Process: We can’t stress enough the importance of eCity’s proven process in delivering results to our clients that will positively impact their bottom line. However, it’s common for clients to want to speed up or skip phase one entirely in order to start seeing results more quickly. The project kickoff meeting gives us a chance to explain in detail what we do in the discovery and research phases of every project, and how this will lead to a better end result for both the client and the client’s users.
Establish Methods of Communication: Clear communication is key to ensuring a project runs smoothly, is completed on time, and comes in within the budget. As project managers, we use the project kickoff meeting to establish who the main point of contact will be on both sides, how frequently they would like to be updated on our progress, and what method or methods of communication they prefer. Our aim is to communicate with clients in the way that’s easiest and most effective for them, whether that’s by phone, email, Google Docs, a project management tool such as Basecamp, or some combination of all four.
Finalize Timeline: As any experienced project manager will tell you, the timeline is the backbone of the project. In order for the project to be a success, the timeline needs to be realistic and agreed upon by everyone involved. The project kickoff meeting is a great opportunity to discuss what the feedback and approval process will look like on the client’s end, and how this will impact the timeline. This helps avoid costly delays further down the line.
What should clients expect from this meeting?
The project kickoff represents a unique opportunity for clients to get to know the people behind an agency. At eCity, we take pride in forming relationships with our clients that go beyond the weekly status call. In order to do this, it’s important for all project stakeholders to be present at the kickoff meeting.
We also recommend clients come prepared to answer questions regarding their process for providing feedback on key deliverables. Throughout our many years as a digital agency, we’ve found the most successful projects happen when the project manager and point of contact are on the same page regarding the approval process and what effect it may have on project deadlines.
Lastly, this is the client’s opportunity to ask any remaining questions they might have before the project kicks into high gear. Questions about the scope of the project, budget, timeline, and process are all expected at this stage. Remember, this meeting is equally as important for the client as it is for the agency.
The project kickoff meeting is only the first step of many on the road to a successful project launch. After everyone has met and discussed the desired outcomes for the project, it’s time for the agency to get to work turning those dreams into reality. Here at eCity, this next step usually involves clients handing over brand immersion materials and the scheduling of stakeholder interviews. From there, we get started conducting user research that will inform our content strategy moving forward. Then, the magic happens!
Are you ready to get started on your next big digital project? eCity has had the privilege of working with established clients such as the University of Pennsylvania, Pentec Health, Porsche, and more to create digital strategies that drive business results and engage users at every stage. To learn more, check out our most recent case studies.