What should I discuss in a project kickoff meeting? UX Question #70

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Amos from Raleigh, North Carolina, asks: What should I discuss in a project kickoff meeting?

I love that question. Thanks for asking, Amos. This is UX Question number 70 and I am Ben Judy.

What should I discuss in a project kickoff meeting? Well, I know from experience how critically important it can be to have a plan going into a kickoff meeting. If you don’t go in with a list of questions and objectives for the meeting, you can come out of the meeting no better prepared to start work on the project than when you went in. You can end up wasting everyone’s time, and bad things follow.

It’s important that you develop your own template or boilerplate list of topics to discuss in a project kickoff meeting. This will serve you well in the future whenever you start a new project. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Discuss the purpose and objective of the project. What user needs or goals do we know about or assume going in? What business goals are important? Are there certain KPI’s or measurements we need to achieve?

Discuss the project plan. What’s the overall timeline and budget? What are some important due dates or deadlines?

Discuss the project team. Is everyone aligned on roles and responsibilities? Are there any obvious gaps in skills or positions to be filled to be able to execute the project?

Discuss design quality, usability, and accessibility. How will we measure the quality of the user experience? Who will decide when the design is good enough? What usability and accessibility testing methods will be used?

Discuss technical constraints and architectural decisions. What devices and versions must be supported? What other software is involved—are there integrations or dependencies?

Discuss content and data. Where will the content for this design project come from? Does it already exist, or does it need to be created? What are the content types and what is the content strategy?

Discuss user research. What big, unanswered questions do we have about users, and how will we build empathy and gain insight?

Finally—I saved the best for last—discuss the users. Who are they? What access do we have to users for research and testing?

There are a million other things to discuss in a kickoff meeting, but hopefully this short list gives you a starting point to create your own checklist.

Keep asking your questions about UX. Next time, I’ll answer the question: How can I build my network of UX professionals?

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