Step 17b: Project kick-off detailed checklist

Here is a detailed checklist project managers can use to make sure they consider each of the important project kick-off activities.

These steps are described in much more detail in the next sections of the project managment category.

Detailed Project Start-up Checklist (PDF)

Detailed Project Start-up Checklist (Microsoft Word)

Negotiate and Definitize the Contract

  • Ensure that the organization’s appropriate contracts management is in concert with the technical management team (including higher management as appropriate) on all negotiation issues.
  • Document and retain all negotiation resolutions.
  • Ensure that the project and the customer have identical copies of the results of all negotiated items.
  • Ensure that the contract, where applicable, has been updated to reflect negotiated items.
  • In some situations, and only with management approval, work is started before a contract is awarded.  In order to expend funds, a formal pre-contract funds authorization is required (pre-award).

Conduct Evaluation and Planning

  • Thoroughly review the entire contract with any negotiated items to ensure that the approach to be taken is consistent.
  • Where discrepancies are found, document them, track to closure, and communicate all intended changes to management for review and approval.
  • If appropriate, meet with the cognizant Your company business development or sales executive to review: the status and outcomes of past discussions with the customer; our understanding of the customer’s issues, needs, and environment; and any assumptions made in developing the project proposal.

Update PM Planning

  • Conduct a project review to establish team understanding and commitment.
  • Understand the system’s development environment.
  • Understand specific contract requirements specifying:
  • Configuration management and control
  • System/software/hardware quality.
  • Understand approaches proposed to achieve the project’s objectives.
  • Review, update and finalize all plans.

Initiate Applicable Staffing / Resources

  • Contact, where applicable, any functional organizations to ensure that intended personnel are available and provide a “start date” for each person.  If no functional organization exists, develop and implement a recruiting plan.
  • Document staffing issues that may arise, coordinate their resolution, and affect designated resolutions.
  • Capture and track to closure all identified issues.
  • dentification/mitigation program.
  • Develop and conduct training on the project requirements and plans.

Finalize Subcontractor(s) Relationship(s)

  • Include into all subcontractor contractual documents all applicable (i.e., to the subcontractor) results of negotiations to the Your company contract.
  • Review your company contract and the intended subcontract vehicles to assure that all applicable and appropriate “flow downs” have been affected; i.e., update where necessary.
  • Have all subcontract changes approved by management and contracts management personnel prior to actual implementation.  Ensure that the statement of work (SOW and Ts&Cs (contract acronym for terms and conditions) for the subcontract are in agreement with the needed requirements of the contract.
  • Cause the negotiation and contract “signing” process between you and the subcontractor to take place.  Ensure that the appropriate management personnel approve the intended negotiations prior to actual implementation.
  • Communicate all applicable subcontracted SOW and Ts&Cs items to the project personnel responsible for tracking the subcontractor performance.
  • Ensure that the results of the “definitization” of the subcontract are properly reflected into the project’s planning as a whole.
  • Ensure that all affected parties on the project are provided with the updated, if applicable, planning for the project.
  • Ensure security requirements are flowed down.

Implement Project Progress Tracking Mechanics

  • Solidify the actual progress metrics to be collected, analyzed, and used for process enhancements; ensure that all organizational requirements as well as those specified by the contract are included.
  • Document all progress metrics and communicate to all project personnel.
  • Establish the mechanics (e.g., via “web page,” automated, manual, etc.) whereby the metrics are provided by the implementers with appropriate “feedback” included.
  • Ensure that the defined collection/feedback mechanics are viable; i.e., will the mechanics actually work?
  • Communicate such mechanics to all project personnel.

Establish Communications

  • Set up/solidify the means by which all project personnel may be informed of all aspects of the project’s implementation affecting them in a timely manner.
  • Allow for the identification and resolution visibility for any/all issues that project personnel may detect.
  • Verify that the means defined will actually work.
  • Explain the project communications approach/methods to all project personnel.

– Mike Lisagor


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