Kick Off Meetings: Don’t Just Say “Ready-Set-Go”!

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Darryl L. Sink and Associates, Inc. (DSA) helps organizations design and develop learning and performance solutions that get results. DSA works cooperatively with organizations to:

  • accomplish internal custom projects
  • train and educate their internal staff in Instructional Systems Development.

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How many times have you said we must get started off on the right foot this time? Starting off an instructional development project is no exception. Most of our instructional development projects today are more complicated than in the past. The use of different media, varied technologies, and an increasing need to have input from many sources make kick-off meetings not only a good thing to do, but also an essential element in having a successful project. Today getting together face-to-face is often difficult. But virtual or (hopefully) face-to-face you can have a very successful team kick-off meeting with some planning ahead of time. Here is a 5-step procedure we follow to get our projects off to a great start and jump-start the development effort.

Procedure for Setting Up and Running a Kick-Off Meeting

  1. Decide on the desired outcomes for the kick-off meeting.
  2. Develop an agenda using the desired outcomes.
  3. Plan and prepare for the kick-off meeting.
  4. Conduct the kick-off meeting.
  5. Follow up on the kick-off meeting.

In this tip I would like to emphasize the first step: Decide on the desired outcomes for a kick-off meeting.

Below is a list we use as a generic list of possible outcomes for a kick-off meeting. This list was originally created for a very large project involving 6 DSA designers and 20 content experts. You can use this to make a checklist of specific desired outcomes for a project of your own. Feel free to add, change, and delete items as needed.

Desired Outcomes for the Kick-Off Meeting Checklist (Step 1 from above)

Coming up with your specific checklist of desired outcomes will be the input for the other four steps of the process above:

If you would like procedures on these other four steps please send an email to with Kick-Off Meeting in the subject line and I will be happy to send them right over to you. Have a great kick off meeting!

See you next time,