Kick off

A way for all of your team to understand the purpose of your project.

The team
30 mins - 1 hour



Kick off sessions help your team to:

    • agree the purpose and outcomes of your work
    • identify key stakeholders
    • understand roles and responsibilities
    • create success criteria for the project


People with a range of different perspectives and knowledge which usually includes:

    • a facilitator
    • all team members
    • key stakeholders


You can use this method when:

    • starting work on a new discovery, product, service or feature
    • new people join the team
    • someone is leaving the team so they can share their knowledge
    • there is a change to priorities or direction for the team

Things you need

    • Any information that will help inform why this work is needed (proposed outcomes, commercial value, user research)
    • A physical space that allows open discussion
    • Post-its
    • Sharpies/pens
    • Wall space
    • Any reference, data or other context that could help

Tips on running the session

    • As a team, agree on the main subjects that need to be discussed
    • Provide time limits to go through each subject
    • Agree on actions and next steps for individuals and the team

Learn more

A great format for these sessions is Ben Holliday's 'Framing the problem'.


  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Welcome everyone to the session. Ask everyone to introduce themselves if the group don’t know each other.

  3. Introduce the aims for the session with your team, for example:
  4. “We’re here so that we can talk about the purpose and outcomes of this work”

    “We’re going to make sure we all know the problem we are solving when designing and building this feature”

  5. Write the subjects on post-its and explain what they mean, for example:
      • Purpose - what are we all here to do?
      • Outcomes - what do we, the business, our stakeholders and users need from this work?
      • Roles and responsibilities - what are people going to be doing during the project, for example: user research, content, running sessions, communicating about the project?
      • Tools - which software or platforms will we use to do the work?
      • Success criteria - how will we know if we are succeeding?
      • Disaster criteria - how will we know if things are not working so we can recognize and address it?
  6. Set a timer and ask people to write down thoughts or questions about each subject on post-its.
  7. Going through each subject at a time, ask everyone to read out their post-its as they stick them under the subject title.
  8. Discuss everything as a team so that everyone can share their thoughts and questions.
  9. The facilitator makes note of actions that are agreed.
  10. Actions might be questions that could not be answered in the session or further information from someone that did not attend the session.

  11. Close the session
  12. Review the session as a whole - is the purpose of the work now clear?

    Make sure everyone is clear on the actions or next steps.

    You could choose a date and time for a follow up session if required.

    Take a photo of what you created in the session and share it using what works best for your team.


Want to know more?

Let us know if we can help you or your team apply these ways of working.

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