<< Back

Kick your project into gear with PMI KICKOFF™: A comprehensive review


In today's fast-paced work environment, managing projects has become a necessary skill, regardless of your job title, whether you are a seasoned project management pro or new to the field. As someone who has been tasked with managing projects in different industries over the years, I understand the pressure and stress that comes with being responsible for delivering results. This is where PMI KICKOFF™ comes in, providing a structured framework for managing your projects, whether you're a project manager, marketing director, business analyst, or student. In this article, I will share my personal experience with the PMI KICKOFF™ course and how it can help you successfully manage your projects.



Image credit: PMI


If you are new to project management, it can be overwhelming to know where to start, especially if you don't have people around you whom you can ask or the resources (like project management documents) to get you going. Another challenge project managers face is determining the most suitable approach and framework to manage their projects. They must decide between Agile and Waterfall methodologies and determine whether the project's scope, schedule, and costs are fixed before it begins or require adjustments to achieve the desired outcomes.

Project KICKOFF is a free course offered by PMI which provides you with the concepts, tools, techniques, and templates you'll need to get started managing projects in both Waterfall and Agile environments. It's nice of PMI to allow you to complete both tracks because each project management lifecycle has use cases that fit. There are times when you'll use Agile and then other times when you'll use Waterfall or you may be on projects where there is a hybrid combination of both.

Upon enrolling in the course, you have the option to select either the Waterfall or Agile module. PMI uses a guided questionnaire to tailor the learning experience based on the best project management approach for the project's needs. Each module provides a sample project that guides you from start to finish. The course offers not only a methodology and series of steps for managing your project but also templates and tools for each process or step. The Waterfall module begins with an introduction to business concepts such as business value and objectives, then proceeds to project initiation, tools, and techniques for proper project planning, monitoring and control, and proper project closure.



Image credit: PMI


The Agile module, on the other hand, teaches you how to break down your vision and ultimate goal into different phases and releases, set up and manage your project team, and equips you with the leadership and mentoring techniques that can help you to empower your team to manage the daily activities in uncertain environments. Additionally, you become familiar with key terminologies used in Agile project management, such as user stories, story points, and progress monitoring tools like the burn-down chart.

Here are some reasons why you should invest your time in the PMI KICKOFF™ course:

  • Easily available from PMI's website: Free Project Management Course| PMI KICKOFF™
  • It's free!
  • It offers both predictive and iterative tracks, enabling you to choose the approach that best suits your environment (or do both, like I did).
  • The course provides a methodological and step-by-step approach to managing projects, providing a great framework for project initiation.
  • It gives you a series of questions you can ask different project stakeholders to align your project.
  • You will find definitions of key terms you'll most certainly come across throughout your project.
  • It provides downloadable templates to help you start planning and get work done immediately.
  • Completing the course can enhance your employment opportunities.
  • An excellent start for preparing yourself for the PMP exam.
  • The user experience is excellent, high-quality graphics and easy navigation, and fully mobile and tablet responsive.
  • Upon completion, you can share your achievement on social media with a badge. (Upon completion, email kickoff@pmi.org, and they will manually add your badges to Credly.)



Image credit: PMI

Overall, PMI KICKOFF is a 45-minute digital learning tool that provides the basics of project management, making it a good resource for onboarding new team members or project managers looking for a methodological framework for managing the projects. It helps you kick off successful projects from start to finish without any unnecessary material, crazy jargon, or boring lectures. By investing just one hour of your time, PMI KICKOFF can improve your project management knowledge, making it suitable for beginners and everyone interested in project management. Plus, it's free, so you won't lose much even if project management doesn't turn out to be your cup of tea.


Author and volunteer contributor: Amirmasoud Shahri, PMP®, PSM, LinkedIn

Reading time: 5 minutes



View the archives