Congratulations on your upcoming website kickoff! We’re really looking forward to getting the ball rolling and want to make sure everyone is prepared to make it a productive, successful meeting.
We know you probably have a lot of questions about what to expect, so we’ll do our best at answering them. If you have any other wonderings not covered here, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
What’s the purpose of the meeting?
Planning and communication are two critical cornerstones of successful website redesign project. We like to think of the kickoff as an opportunity for people from your organization and ours to come together as one cohesive group that will work collaboratively towards the same goals.
We should all come away from the meeting with clear assignments, a few key milestone dates and the main pages for your new website. Shortly after the meeting, we’ll follow up with a more detailed preliminary timeline and sitemap for you to review and give feedback on.
Who should attend the kickoff meeting?
While you may be tempted to include several people from different departments in this meeting, we recommend that no more than three people attend. We'll definitely want to speak with your different departments during the project planning, but for the kickoff three is a good number to keep things moving. You can certainly include more individuals in your internal meetings before and after the kickoff, but we find that fewer cooks in the kitchen make for a much more efficient and effective planning process.
How should we prepare for the meeting?
There are a few key things we recommend doing before the kickoff meeting to make sure everything goes smoothly.
- The best thing you can do to prepare is to complete our project intake form as thoroughly as possible. If you have already done this you're ahead of the curve.
- Assign a primary point person who will coordinate the project, ensure deadlines are met, gather internal feedback and communicate with the EDUCO team.
- Discuss branding, colors, logos, and style guides, voice & tone guides and any other materials that will guide the look and feel of the website.
- Gather logo design files in all the formats you have. We'll provide you with a folder to upload them to after our meeting.
- Gather credentials for your current CMS, hosting and any other relevant accounts we’ll need to access.
- Create a “wish list” of all the things you’d like your new website to include.
- Jot down any questions you have for us about the process or any new developments that have come up since we last spoke.
What should we bring to the meeting?
- Your preferred note-taking tool (laptop, tablet, notepad, etc.)
- Relevant login credentials (see above)
- Any logo and brand asset files
- Notes from internal meetings – wish list of features, exact brand colors, etc.
- List of peer sites to review
- List of sites outside your industry that you like
What should the client do after the kickoff meeting?
During the meeting, we will discuss assignments for your team and ours. In order to adhere to the timeline, it’s helpful to also assign delivery deadlines to everyone's tasks.
So, a good first step may be to schedule an internal meeting to hand out the assignments, discuss requirements, deadlines and review procedures. The point person should make notes of these items and have a plan in place to follow up and ensure expectations are met.
What happens next?
The short answer is a lot.
But the first step is to address the website content. If your team is creating content internally, we recommend beginning the process as soon as possible and setting aside more time than you think you'll need. From our experience over the years, it's always a more time-consuming and challenging task for the client if they're doing it on their own.
If you've hired EDUCO to craft your website copy, then you may have an assignment to gather key resources around brand voice and tone, and key content points to include for each page.
When EDUCO has materials to review, we will schedule a screen-share meeting to present and walk you through the rationale behind the work we’ve done. After each presentation, you and your team will have the opportunity to review independently to determine what feedback and/or requests for revisions you have.
What happens if we want to add new features or functionality after kickoff?
It’s normal for your ideas about the website to evolve as you progress through development, and we can certainly accommodate changes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that changes and additions usually impact the budget and timeline. We'll always do our best to provide in budget solutions/options, but there still may be timeline implications.
If a new request is out of the scope of the original plan, then we’ll provide the information you need to decide about how to proceed. For some projects, it makes sense to pursue those additional features as a part of a post launch enhancement initiative after the new website is live.
We can't wait to get started!
The kickoff meeting is one of the most exciting steps of the website development process. Everyone is engaged, eager and optimistic about what’s to come.
It’s our goal that you leave feeling just as fired up as when you arrive, so we do our best to set realistic expectations and goals. After all, the kickoff often sets the tone for the rest of the project.
If there’s anything more we can do to help you and your team start off on the right foot, please let us know. Thank you again for entrusting EDUCO with your website transformation and we’ll see you soon!