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Now that the plan is approved, you can even kick off the real work, the project, and start showing progress on what the customer really wants. For many projects, small and large, one of the first things that has to happen is getting contracts signed. If you're a freelancer, you might have approval for the proposal you have submitted, but it's wise to hold off on starting work until the legal papers are signed. When your people, materials and equipment are in place with all the paperwork in order, you hold a celebration of sorts, a kickoff meeting or a conference call to get the project going.
This event can perform several functions. First, a kickoff is the perfect time to make sure everyone understands the project and gets jazzed about it, the ideal is getting the customer to talk about the goal and why it's so important. Second, the kickoff can be a social mixer, so everyone on the project gets to meet and learn a little bit about each other. Each person might talk about what they do and how they are involved in the project. To help people get to know one- another, ask them to share a personal tidbit, like a hobby.
Third, you can get down to business and talk about the plan for the project, what's involved, when it's due and any constraints. Now is a good time to run through processes or procedures you want people to follow. It's always a good idea to ask if anyone has questions. In addition to answering the questions that come up at the meeting, create a list of questions and answers after the meeting and post them where everyone can find them. Everyone has their own style with kickoff meetings, so come up with your ideal agenda and what you would do to make it as effective as possible.
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