So you hear a new project is coming your way. And you don’t know anything about it. You see on your calendar that a meeting has been scheduled with your product manager, the developers and a few other people you don;t know. This initial meeting is what is known as a “Kickoff Meeting” and this is a great opportunity for you to get some questions answered.
Questions answered?!? Yikes. What questions? Well that is pretty simple. You start to think about what information you need to get the project started. As a UX designer or researcher, there might be a million questions swimming in your head about the project. And you worry that there is no way you are going to get them all answered in one hour-long kickoff meeting. And that is OK if they are not all answered in that first meeting.
The purpose of this post is to give you a check list of questions to come prepared to the kickoff meeting. There is nothing worse than blanking out when you hear that infamous prompt: “Do you have any question?”
Well of course you do, you have a million of them But you have suddenly drawn a blank.
OK. Let’s fix that. As with any project, it’s good to have a plan and come prepared. Here is a list of questions that you could ask at a kickoff meeting (or followup if you run out of time) so that you have information to get you started on a project.
Questions for the Kickoff
- Tell me a bit about the project. Give me a bit of context.
- What are the goals of the project?
- What is the motivation behind this project?
- How would you define success for this?
- What research already exists for this project or something similar?
- What do you want to find out through research?
- What is the timeline and deadlines?
- What are the user’s main pain points?
- How do you know these are the main pain points?
- What do you think is missing (from the design/app/interface)?
- What do you think would make it better?
- What do you expect the outcomes or deliverables to be?
- Who are the stakeholders we should be talking to?
- Are we leaving out any resources?
- Where do we go from here to get started? What are the next steps?
They key here is to squash assumptions and to understand the project’s motivation, goals, success metrics, expectations and deadlines. A few key questions, at your fingertips, should help you to gather this very important information.