Resource: Good Kickoff Meetings

Resources from my SXSW 2011 presentation, Your Meetings Suck and It’s Your Fault.

These resources are identical if you attended my workshop at UX London, UX Week, or UI16.

If you work at a design agency, government agency, university, for-profit, not for-profit, or even a wish-I-had-profit, you break your work down into projects. Every project has to start somewhere. Traditionally we call those first meetings “kickoff meetings.”

The metaphor of a football kickoff for a meeting implies a time in the project where the game is just beginning, but that implied simplicity is deceptive. The reality of a kickoff in football is that a lot of analysis and preparation happened off of the field before the ball is kicked. Unfortunately that amount of thought and effort doesn’t traditionally go into project kickoffs.

I decided to undertake a different approach to kickoff meetings, applying design thinking, constraints, and interactive exercises to develop a kickoff framework that was more similar to a playbook of activities I could pull from to begin to define and begin to solve problems for clients. I am in the business of creating experiences for the web, and although these exercises are designed to support that type of process, you might find them useful in putting together kickoffs for other kinds of projects as well.

Whether you get one useful idea from this site, or it helps you plan a multi-day, 60 plus person kickoff meeting, I hope you find this site helpful in building trust, energy, and positive culture around a successful project beginning.

Two that stuck out to me:

Design Studio/Prototyping Exercise

The 20 Second “Gut” Test