“Didn’t we cover that in the kick-off meeting?” “But I thought we agreed…” “Why didn’t anybody explain…” So often web projects go wrong because of poor communication. Crucial details never get discussed and assumptions are made. Things that may seem obvious to the web designer are confusing to the website owner.
This kind of miscommunication leads to conflict, slipped deadlines and a poor end product.
Done right the kick-off meeting at project commencement can overcome a lot of these issues. It can lay a solid groundwork for the project ensuring that everybody is singing off of the same hymn sheet and putting in place lines of communication that will last the entire project.
The problem with kick-off meetings
The problem is that there is so much to cover in a kick-off meeting that things get missed. It has been a problem we have suffered from at Headscape for a while now and so I decided to do something about it. I wanted to make it easy for our project managers to have a rock solid kick-off agenda that covered all of the basis. What is more I wanted an agenda that helped educate the client about the process of building their web project.
The kick-off agenda builder
The kick-off agenda builder is a fancy name for a very simple little web app (its insulting to even call it that). Its essentially a list of all the subjects that one might possibly cover in a kick-off meeting for most web projects. Each element comes with a description that will help educate the client while reminding the project team of things that must be covered. The descriptions also occasionally include links that go into more depth on a particular subject.
The agenda can be configured to suit your project by hiding and showing sections. For example if you are not doing any development on a project just click on the development title and it will disappear (you can always bring it back later). You can even click on the page title to give your agenda a nice heading.
Once you have your agenda the way you want it, print it out, save it as a PDF or copy and paste it into the application of your choice. Job done.
You can either access the agenda builder online (see below) or download the source code if you want to put it on your own server. I am releasing it under creative commons so do as you will with it. Just don’t go selling it to anybody (not that anybody will pay for it anyway).
Can you improve it?
No doubt I have missed stuff so if you think of anything I should include, post it in the comments below and I will add it in. Also if you are a developer and fancy turning this into a proper web app that allows agendas to be saved online for specific clients then feel free to use my code and content. I would love to know if anybody does it.