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Why the Project Kickoff Meeting is your most important step

As Access Developers we deal with projects, both small and large, that may span hours or months. Our time is valuable, so it’s important we are effective from start to finish with our client’s projects, in particular with new and large ones. To that end we hold a Project Kickoff Meeting as our first step to managing for success.

Kick butt and take names

MS Access Consulting

The meeting is our way to make sure everyone, from the client’s team and ours, understand the goals, objectives and timeline for the project. To that end we have the following tasks to accomplish during the meeting:

  • Introduce our development team to the client
  • Client introduces their team to ours, make sure we have a single point of contact from their end.
  • We review the design document, (or the proposal sans pricing), and discuss in detail the fieatures of the new program.
  • We discuss a timeline for completion.
  • We go over everything related to the project in fine detail.

You want fries with that?

It’s not unheard of to have 2-4 hour PKO meetings, (we may order lunch, hence the ‘You want fires with that?’ headline above). Make sure you budget enough time with all participants in order to have a great meeting.

We need to add (insert feature here) to this project

It’s not unheard of that key client personel see and hear about the project during the KPO meeting, as such they may bring to the forefront the need to include features not previously discussed with your client during the proposal phase. Here is where you need to stick to your guns and insist any new work occur in Phase II, right? Kinda of. My standard is that of producing a product that meets or exceeds the client’s needs, so if the new feature is “Mission Critical” than we need to negociate extra compensation to include it, otherwise it get’s delegated to Phase II. If they really need it they should be ok with paying more for it, don’t be afraid to sticking to your guns and asking for additional monies, after all, you’ve got a team on hold until it gets approved, putting presure on your client to make it happen.

Start holding project kickoff meetings with your clients in order to “Manage for success”!

About Juan Soto

Juan Soto is a Senior Access Developer at IT Impact Inc. and a Microsoft Access MVP. He specializes in Access with SQL Server databases. His passion for Access has led him to helping a wide range of businesses in helping them establish a secure, stable and efficient environment with SQL Server. He's a frequent speaker at Access user groups nationwide and recently spoke at the Orange County SQL Saturday # 73. If you wish to have Juan speak at your next group meeting you can contact him here.

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