JD 101 | Ep 2: How to nail your next Kick-off meetings | 10 easy tips

BEFORE THE MEETING

Tip 1: PREPARE, PREPARE, and PREPARE

  • From my experience, this is the key component in deciding the success of a kick-off meeting.
  • The benefits are getting familiar with the project and having a clear understanding of the problem to solve.

Tip 2: Focus on the PROBLEMS & REQUIREMENTS, not the SOLUTION

My working board for a kick-off meeting
My working board for a kick-off meeting
  • It’s alright to spend 30 minutes to 1 hour just studying the brief. After that, you should be able to answer the following questions:
    What is the goal?
    What is the problem?
    • Where
    is the problem come from?
    Is the problem validated?
  • It would be fantastic if you could answer all of them! If not, that’s also alright. You can save those questions for PM. He sure knows how to give you the answer. If he is not 100% sure, you will be the right person to validate it.

Tip 3: Quick RESEARCH about problems and competitors is never redundant.

  • You can pull some data about users' behaviours to validate the problems or understand their pain points. The more you understand the problem, the more concerns they will come.
  • Competitive analysis? Why not. Learning from competitors strengthens your understanding of where your product is in the industry and helps you structure the future solution.

Tip 4: Wander the products to check if any places will be potentially INVOLVED in the given problem.

  • If not, that’s perfect. Nothing changed in the scope. Otherwise, you can socialize with PM to adjust the scope and timeline.

Tip 5: SOLUTION is NOT the ultimate goal of a kick-off meeting.

  • The main achievement should be clear objectives, desired outcomes and a list of action items.
  • You can give some ideas on how to solve the problems, but don’t propose a final one and stick to it. PM will not approve your solution in the kick-off meeting.

Tip 6: LIST DOWN all the questions you have for the PM.

  • I recommend the ideal number of questions will be from 10 to 15.
  • Favour your manager for a dry-run if you want to ensure everything is covered.

DURING THE MEETING

Tip 7: ASK what you have in your note.

  • To make the meeting more engaged, select the right time to raise the right question. Do not ask an irrelevant point while the PM is saying different things.

Tip 8: TAKE NOTE if you cannot process many things at a time.

  • My best advice is to focus on what is important and don’t forget to evaluate your notes.
  • Get your hands on the most convenient note-taking tool for you. “Notion” is my life.
  • It’s okay to politely ask for a few seconds to quickly write down the key points. But don’t make anyone wait for you in every single question.

Tip 9: WRAP UP before everyone leaves the room to get everyone once aligned on the requirements and next steps.

AFTER THE MEETING

Tip 10: DOCUMENT the meeting’s outcome and action items

  • I used to hate documenting until I realized how much benefit it will bring. It is a single reliable source of information that keeps everyone on track during the project journey.
  • I love to add “meeting notes” and “next step” in my design documentation. This is a core part of my contribution to the design process and I feel credited for what I carefully prepared.

If you are well prepared, but there are some unexpected things that you cannot cover, don’t worry about that. Everything is a journey and you will get better over time.

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Product Designer who fancies Data Visualization — https://www.behance.net/thuychi199ad47

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Chi Nguyen Thuy

Chi Nguyen Thuy

Product Designer who fancies Data Visualization — https://www.behance.net/thuychi199ad47

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