How-To: Have a Successful Acquisition Kick-Off Meeting

Home Forums Acquisitions How-To: Have a Successful Acquisition Kick-Off Meeting

This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Ressler 8 years, 9 months ago.

  • Author
  • #92957

    Mike Lisagor

    I’ve done quite a few ‘lessons learned’ project assessments for government agencies and one of the highest risk areas is the need for a well-thought out, proactive internal acquisition kick-off meeting. The primary objective is to ensure the integrated Project Team (technical, contracts, legal, end-user, etc.) knows exactly what support and outcomes are expected.

    The key elements of a successful acquisition project team kick-off meeting are:

    * Distribute the agenda and any relevant documentation before the meeting.
    * Begin and end on time. Stick to the meeting plan.
    * Introduce the project team and key project influencers. Make sure everyone is clear on roles and responsibilities as well as expectations.
    * Describe the objective of the acquisition.
    * Explain your approach to accomplishing the acquisition including the schedule and critical path. Review the work plan, major milestones and deliverables.
    * Review the change management process that will be followed to ensure schedule compliance and document quality while allowing for sufficient reviews and industry comment (if relevant).
    * Define success criteria so the team is clear about the system and/or services user expectations.
    * Identify any risks, challenges and project constraints especially unique to this acquisition. Also, identify risk mitigation actions for this most probable/highest impact risks.
    * Take the time to respond to everyone’s concerns about project success. Don’t assume silence is concurrence. Now is the time to encourage open discussion while there is still time to change the plan.
    * Make sure everyone understands the necessary project control and status requirements including documentation standards and quality reviews. Also, clarify charging requirements for labor and other direct charges like travel expenses.
    * Go over any support tools, documents and support needs.
    * Record decisions and action assignments

  • #92969

    Steve Ressler

    Great post. I totally agree and takes time to do this right.

  • #92967

    Mike Lisagor

    Absolutely! Same problem with almost every type of project I’ve seen, not just acquisition, Stakeholder involvement and buy-in before, during and after is critical to success. Yet, one of the most common mistakes made.

  • #92965

    Tina M Borger, CPPO

    How to you ensure that decisons in this meeting do not create conflicts with the written contract?

  • #92963

    Rowena Figueroa

    These is a great list, Michael.

    For those who are interested in the how’s, why’s, and WIFMs of integrated project teams, join Federal Computer Week’s webcast on March 30th. This interactive online event is free.

  • #92961

    Patricia Paul


    Great post!!! The part that caught my attention was the point that you made about silence not being equal to concurrence or understanding. I am the “question asker” at home and at work and at church and on tours and well–I ask alot of questions. Sometimes, I wait until the last possible second to ask my question hoping that someone else will ask or say something. I keep hoping that I don’t have to be the one to ask every question. Usually, after asking the question, I find out someone else was thankful that I did because they felt the same concern.

    The challenge is to really try to pull concerns or confusions out in these meetings because this is the time to do it. Challenge attendees to really consider the project and their expectations and raise questions where the two don’t seem to be in alignment.

  • #92959

    Steve Ressler

    Agreed – sometimes with a large event people are shy as well so you need to reach out 1 to 1 before/after

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.