Project Management
best practices

From starting strong with kick-off meetings to celebrating team successes, we'll guide you through practices that pave the way for smooth, efficient, and enjoyable project experiences. Let's get started!
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Kick-off meeting

In our honest opinion, this is a mandatory meeting to have a good start on cooperation at the very beginning of the project lifecycle. In Amsterdam Standard, this meeting is usually organized by the Delivery Manager (or Project Manager). As a first step, make sure all the right people are invited, and everyone is fine with chosen date and time. Next and crucial: prepare an agenda, choose a person who’ll lead the meeting (DM/PM), and ask your customer what topics he’d like to have covered. What exactly should be found in the agenda - it’s up to you and your needs, but when it comes to our recommendations, it’s worth mentioning:


- Target market

- Product presentation

- Product/business goals

- Communication channels that will be used by the team

- Project governance, discuss company work culture

- Project responsibilities

- Risk assessment

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PM responsibility matrix

When you’re done with a kick-off meeting, we recommend going a step further. For bigger projects and teams where the project responsibility seems to be fuzzy, we’d like to show you the PM responsibility matrix. Invite relevant people to the meeting, based on who will bring the best input, and discuss which parts will be managed by whom. Defining them at the same beginning of the project will help you avoid ambiguity in the later part of it.


What is best about project management? Even if you know the methods, have experience, and have successfully delivered many projects, it’s still all about the learning process.


There are no perfect projects, perfect teams, or ideal project managers, but what’s most important is that we can learn from each other, discuss the cases and share the know-how.


As a Holidays gift, I’ve put together a list of the best project management practices that our project managers team has learned over the two years of working with Amsterdam Standard teams.

Meeting minutes

Probably known by every project manager, so it’s just a reminder to use this powerful ‘tool’. It’s good practice to make notes after extra meetings happening in your team (outside of regular Scrum ceremonies). How to make them well organized?


- always include the date and participants

- markdown goals (to have clarity on what is expected to be achieved)

- discussion points (or another form of notes that are important but are not necessarily action points)

- action points (clear follow-up actions to be taken after the meeting) - don’t forget to assign the owners!

Decision log

Sometimes a good supplement to meeting minutes or project documentation might be a decision log document that gathers all the most important decisions in one place, with easy and quick access.

Team bonding

There’s no good project without a great and close-knit team. Make sure to plan some integration activities not only among developers but also with the customer, product owner, and all the stakeholders engaged daily in the project. Some ideas:


- Online beer + games - examples:

  1. Charades, e.g.;
  2. Q&A’s - questions “this or that” or “would you rather..”;
  3. 9 free online team-building games for remote teams )


- PubQuiz between teams - a trivia of team-related questions/photos between teams;


- Creative hackathons - night hackathons with beer&pizza.

Big milestone evaluation & retrospective

Besides regular retrospectives with your team, it’s nice to celebrate the end of a bigger project phase (or ending the whole project). Some tips from us:


- Organize a separate meeting to underline it’s an extra event;

- You can use some retrospective tools to have a nice summary and discussion, but in the big picture; you can prepare it in another way than usual (use a timeline, prepare milestones, and memories, and make it more interactive)

- Make it more ‘festive’, and focus on good things and improvements. This kind of event should help you build a nice culture of celebration with the team, not only focusing on delivering and then rushing forward again.

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Year-end summary

As we mentioned in the point above, it’s always a good time to celebrate. Preparing a year-end summary would be a nice Holidays gift for your customer and team. The goal of this meeting should be to wrap up the passing year, celebrate the achievements, and have fun.

What could be prepared for such a meeting?
- Company accomplishments wrap-up
- New projects on the Client side
- Growth
- New people hired, new departments formed
- New markets
- Roadmap summary


Team accomplishments wrap-up:
- A number of sprints and retrospectives closed
- A number of story points burnt
- Most important releases
- A number of new people in the team
- The most important features
- The most important improvements
- Most important team achievements


Extra content:
- Some funny team photos, and internal jokes :)
- Year-end retrospective - in the big picture.

Goals for the new year or Q1.

Goodbye meeting

When we’re finishing the project, cooperation, or someone is leaving the project, it’s always nice to have a ‘goodbye meeting’, which seems to be a nice and obvious idea, but believe me - doesn't happen so often. Of course, the agenda depends on the situation and relations - and more importantly - always ask everyone if they’re ok with it. If so, you can include below parts:


- Knowledge sharing session - someone is leaving, so this person can underline what was responsible for and share the most important aspects and information;


- A Q&A’s style session could be organized - so questions are asked to a specific person leaving about the most important things before they leave;


- If the atmosphere is good, you can ask team members to prepare some nice memories or quotes for the person who’s leaving, or just a couple of sentences saying ‘thank you for common work together;


- If the project ends, you can use some ideas from the above point Year-end summary, enriched with some nice team moments and accomplishments plus documentation and access handover.

Adapting best practices for your projects

We hope you find these tips helpful for your projects. They come from our experienced Project Managers and cover everything from starting a project to celebrating when it's done.

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But remember, your team and projects are special. These tips are a guide, but you might need to change them to fit your needs. Use what works, change what doesn't, and keep learning along the way.
Written by: Karolina, on January 23, 2023
Project Management