Project Team Members and Project Meetings


Series on Project Management for Team Members

By Prof Marco Sampietro

SDA Bocconi School of Management

Milan, Italy



This is the fifth article of the series: Project Management for Team Members (aka Project Followership). We will deal with the role of project team members in project meetings, with a special focus on the kick-off meeting.

The topic of project meetings is one of the most overlooked in project management literature and discussions. This is strange as meetings are a key ingredient in every project environment. In fact, it is during meetings that much information and many updates are shared, many decisions are taken and many human interactions happen.

There are different types of project meetings, of which we can mention:

  • Kick-off meetings
  • Project status meetings
  • Project review meetings

While the role of team members is quite clear in the last two types of meetings (where mostly fact-based information is provided), the role of project team members in kick-off meetings is almost neglected.

One of the aims of kick-off meetings is to formally notify the stakeholders of the project start-up and at the same time check that everyone has understood their role and relative responsibilities. It is also likely to be one of the few occasions when stakeholders have the opportunity to meet each other, and this is why team members should take full advantage of it to get to know the main stakeholders and their expectations and strategies (global vision, see second article in the series).

Unfortunately, it is not hard to find team members who, not being sufficiently aware, perceive these meetings as an unnecessary element that “steals” time and adds nothing to the management of the project. Their participation is more due to moral obligation, organizational pressure, or even the opportunity to eat some free sandwiches (food is often served during kick-off meetings to increase the participation rate). Despite the poor quality of many kick-off meetings, they are one of the most used project management tools in organizations with both low and high project management maturity (Besner and Hobbs, 2004).

We believe that team members who have the opportunity of being involved from the outset should play an active part and should recognize kick-off meetings as a unique occasion which, if managed well, can provide the answers to many questions and help to spread the sense of belonging and involvement.


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About the Author

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Milan, Italy



Marco Sampietro
obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Bremen, Germany. Since 2000 he has been a professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy. SDA Bocconi School of Management is ranked among the top Business Schools in the world (Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, and The Economist rankings). He is a Core Faculty Member at SDA Bocconi School of Management and teaches Project Management in the MBA – Master of Business Administration, and GEMBA – Global Executive Master of Business Administration programs. He is Faculty Member at MISB – Mumbai International School of Business, the Indian subsidiary of Bocconi University, and Visiting Professor at IHU – International Hellenic University, Greece. He is also a Contract Professor at Bocconi University and Milano Fashion Institute for the Project Management courses.

He was a speaker at the NASA Project Management Challenge 2007, 2008, and 2011, in the USA, and a speaker at the PMI Global European Congress, Italy, 2010.

He is Member of the Steering Committee of IPMA-Italy.

He is co-author and/or editor of 10 books on project management and 7 books on IT management. Among them: Empowering Project Teams. Using Project Followership to Improve Performance. CRC Press, 2014. Finally, he is the author of award-winning case studies and papers.

Dr. Sampietro can be contacted at: [email protected]

To see other works by Marco Sampietro, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/marco-sampietro/