There have been times when I was briefed on a project where the solutions were predetermined. All aspects of the site would be decided on already. Sure I’d get to “design” the solution but what if I had an idea for the project that would benefit the client better? This is where an early on creative brainstorm meeting, or internal kickoff meeting, comes in.
Internal kickoffs are a great way to start off a new project on the right foot. The purpose of this meeting is to brief the team on the project and collectively come up with the best ideas that fit within the constraints of the project. This way you know for a fact your team is executing on the appropriate solutions. If you don’t have internal kickoffs before you start a new project then you’re possibly missing out on the best quality work your company can dish out. But don’t fret, there’s never been a better time to start than now.
First off, I’m going to assume that you have an awesome sales team like I do. Now let’s say they’ve just won a new account after assessing the client and determining the project details, and are ready to move forward. The next step is to first, and most importantly, ring the sales bell we have in the office. Then we gather ’round as a team for the internal kickoff.
To start the meeting off the sales guy, or no wait I’m sorry, the account manager, will first go over who the client is and what they do. This is also a time to check out their current site if they have one and competitor sites as well. Once the team is familiarized with the client the project constraints are discussed. What are the available hours and budget? What does the timeline look like? These details will help shape and refine the ideas that everyone has.
Once those details are out in the open you’re now at the point where you can finally start bouncing ideas off of your team. This is the most enjoyable part of the meeting. You’ll feel unstoppable when your team starts building off of each other’s ideas, I promise. Sometimes you might have a great idea for the site but how long would it take to actually implement? That’s why these meetings are so important. Having everyone involved allows you to get a better idea for what will solve the clients problems within those constraints we were previously talking about.
I’ve learned recently that I tend to over design a solution that will also end up taking longer to develop, when in reality all that was needed was something simple. This is why it’s important you go over some of the ideas that are tucked away in your mind. Show your team examples of what you’re aiming for in the project so that they can tell you how difficult and time-consuming it will be. Seriously though, this is the quickest and most enjoyable way to start off a project right. When you establish the most intuitive solutions between your entire team that makes practical sense, you walk away with the highest possibility of making the project a success.
Side Note: When I say “whole team”, it will vary with the size of your company. The people needed are usually those are involved in the project; a developer, digital marketing manager, project manager, account manager, and most likely your operations officer.
Of course, every team has their own special ways of getting things done. Even so, going into projects as a blind automaton is one way to show your lack of passion and that you don’t mind pushing out subpar work. If your team sits in silos the whole duration of the project you won’t know the true potential your work could otherwise have. I suggest sticking your nose out by trying to get internal kickoff meetings a part of your processes and procedures. This will show that you are actually passionate about your work and want to create nothing but the best, which is contagious by the way. Have you had more success with a different method? If so, I’d love to hear about it!