It is common that when a project starts, the entire or the bulk of the team is not ready and on the ground. There is a certain element of ramp up time as various team members are found and join the team.
This is no excuse to not have a team kick off. I know that the name suggests that it should be held at the commencement of the project, but this does not have to be the case.
It can be delayed until a large percentage of the team has started on the project, or at least the core project team.
A team kick off should serve a few purposes. It is a perfect opportunity for everyone to gain a common understanding of what the project is all about, set expectations on how everyone should operate, share the role of each team member and most importantly provide an opportunity to bond and get to know each other on a more personal level.
The concept of the team kick off can also be used at particular milestones or points where you can bring the team back together for a refresher and a reconnection, plus a bit of time out. Also if the composition of the team changes it is a chance to bond with new members.
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