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Product Project Kick-off

Once a product development project has been given the approval to get started the first thing we need to do is ensure our new client has a smooth onboarding and understands all factors of the process we will be following with them. For clients who are new to agile, we aim to ensure that they understand the agile processes we follow right from the beginning. We also need to ensure that our internal team is prepared to get started with a strong foundation.

Preparing for kick-off

Before we start our first design or development iteration with our new client we need to set up all of our systems and prepare the team to get started.

Below is a list of the steps required before kick-off:

  1. Prepare the team. Who is going to be working on this project? We need to ensure that the right members are prepared to get started on the project. We share with the team any project documents and background info that they should review to help them prepare for the project.
  2. Set up comms channels. We set up all communication channels between the client and our internal team. We prefer slack, though we are open to any other communication platform a client may prefer.
  3. Set all recurring meetings. We list out all meetings we'll need to have both internally and with the client, reviewing with both sides on the best time windows for the meetings and locking them into the calendar.
  4. Set up systems and share access. We set up all the systems we'll need to work with and share access to the necessary internal members and the client. For the source code and version control and project management tools (JIRA, Pivotal, etc) it is better if the client can set up their own company account and add us in, so they can maintain ownership.


Once everything has been prepared and the meetings have been set it is time for the first kick-off meeting. We want to start on a familiar and positive note, whilst getting the client used to our processes.

Below is a list of the steps required during our first kick-off:

  1. Introduce the team. We introduce all members of the internal team and ask the client to introduce themselves from their side. We do this either in person or via a video call depending on where the client is based.
  2. Project overview. We give an overview of the project and what we are aiming to achieve, walking both sides through the discussions we've had so far and the role all members will play in completing our objectives.
  3. Process overview. We give an overview of all processes that relate to the project, such as how we set up projects, how epics and versions are set up, how we do our estimating, the structure of user stories and the reason behind story points, how velocity is measured, and more. We have the first iteration set up in preparation for the kick-off meeting to give an example of how the project will be managed.
  4. Key dates. We share with the client the key dates that we'll be following throughout the project. When can the client expect a build to be released? When will we be doing key meetings both internal and external?
  5. Expectations. Let the client know of any expectations from their side. When do we need them to provide feedback? Will any of the development work be handled by their side?
  6. Meeting deliverables. We let the client know what deliverables they can expect from our internal meetings. What will be shared with them after retrospectives? How will we report daily? When will we be sharing our weekly report?
  7. Iteration goals. Discuss with the client the goal for the first iteration and the upcoming iterations.

Once all the key steps are complete we will check to see if there are any more discussion points that the client would like to go through. Once all is understood we’ll be ready to get started on our first iteration of work.

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