BEP 307 – English for Project Management 2: Kickoff Meeting (2)

Business English Pod 307 - Project Management English - Kickoff Meeting 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson, which continues our look at a project kickoff meeting.

Anyone who’s been involved with projects should know just how important it is to have good communication with a client. And good communication starts right at the beginning, at a project kickoff meeting. That’s when you’ll have the chance to make sure a client understands how you work and how the project should run.

In our last lesson, we looked at some of the basics that you need to cover in your first project meeting. Today, we’ll look at some more ways of increasing your chances of avoiding problems and ensuring that a project runs smoothly. In many cases, it can be a good idea to actually bring up potential obstacles in your meeting. If you see something that might impact the timeline or the budget, you can let the client know about it. And that might mean that you have to educate the client about your work process.

When you educate a client about your development process, you might find yourself using too much technical language. But if you want the client to really understand, you might have to rephrase that information in simpler terms. Of course, you don’t want to focus too much on potential problems. And for that reason you should know how to redirect a discussion away from problems and toward other issues. For example, you might need to ask the client for important information to get the project started.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Martin and Jill. Their company, OptiTech, is starting a new project to develop software for a logistics company. Martin and Jill are kicking off the project by holding a teleconference with Zara, the manager of the client company, and Liam, their IT manager. In this part of the dialog, Martin and Jill are making sure Zara and Liam understand potential obstacles and the development process.

Listening Questions

1. What does Martin say is the cause of some potential obstacles?
2. What is Jill’s simple explanation of a technical idea that Zara didn’t understand?
3. When Martin redirects the discussion away from obstacles, what does he say he wants to discuss?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

BEP 306 – English for Project Management 1: Kickoff Meeting (1)

Business English Pod 306 - Project Management English - Kickoff Meeting

Welcome back to Business English Pod for our new series on English for project management. For our first lesson we’re going to look at a kickoff meeting at the start of a project.

Whether or not you’re a project manager, you surely know that every project is a unique and complex process. Seeing a project through to completion, on time and within budget, takes a huge range of people skills and business know-how. And sometimes during a big project it might feel like everything is working against successful completion.

But there are ways to minimize some of these challenges. This is particularly true at the beginning of a project when it’s important to make sure you get off to a good start. For one thing, you’ll need to meet with the client to make sure the ground rules of the project are clear. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with confusion mid-project. Kicking off a project effectively also means outlining protocols, or important procedures, and explaining lines of communication. After all, when a problem or challenge does arise, everyone should know exactly who to talk to and how to make the necessary changes.

The kickoff meeting is also a time for everyone to make their priorities clear. If you are the client and sticking to the timeline is more important than keeping to the budget, you should make that known right from the start. Of course, there may be competing priorities. And as a project manager, you may have to manage client expectations carefully, which might involve setting some conditions when you agree to something.

In today’s dialog, we’ll join Martin and Jill, who work for a software company called OptiTech. Their company is holding a teleconference to kick off a project to develop custom software for a logistics company that will help them manage and track shipments. Martin is the project manager, while Jill is the lead developer. On the call, we’ll also hear from Zara, a manager at the logistics company, and Liam, their IT manager. Together, they are all trying to get the project off to a good start.

Listening Questions

1. How does Martin say that Jill should deal with technical issues?
2. What does Zara emphasize as her company’s priority in the project?
3. Near the end of the conversation, what condition does Martin attach to the successful management of the timeline?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

VV 53 – English Vocabulary for Agile Project Management

YouTube video

In this lesson, we’ll look at business English vocabulary related to agile project management and the scrum framework of product development.

Scrum involves working in sprints, or short cycles, to develop a product rapidly. Key roles in scrum include the scrum master along with the product owner, as well as product teams, which create the product by working through the sprint backlog.

Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | MP3 Audio Only

BEP 293 – English Collocations for Implementing a Plan (2)

Business English Pod 293 - English Collocations for Discussing How to Implement a Plan 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations related to implementing a plan.

Everyone knows that you have to plan for the future. But many “plans” are only that: they are just plans. But a plan is only useful if it leads to action. Or, as a wise man once said: a plan without action is a dream wasted. In order to not waste that dream, we need to implement the plans we create.

In today’s lesson, we’ll hear a discussion about how to implement a marketing plan. And you’ll hear lots of common expressions we use when talking about implementation. These expressions are called “collocations,” which just means a set of words that usually go together. For example, have you heard the expression “put something into action?” That’s a common collocation that means “to implement.” We don’t say “make something into action” or “activate something.” It’s always “put something into action.”

You can learn these natural combinations of words used by native speakers. Studying English collocations will help you sound more natural and expand your active vocabulary. As you listen to today’s dialog, try to catch some of these collocations, and we’ll go over them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll rejoin Carlos, Viv, Byron, and Marion, who are discussing how to implement a marketing plan. In the last lesson, they talked about some of their online marketing activities. Today, they’re going to talk about some other parts of the plan, including the timeline.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Carlos mention that Marion is a strong writer?
2. What does Carlos say about the importance of the CRM?
3. What does Viv think about the timeline on the CRM activities?

Premium Members: Study Notes | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

BEP 292 – English Collocations for Implementing a Plan (1)

Business English Pod 292 - Lesson Module

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations related to implementing a plan.

In business, good planning is important, whether you’re talking about a long-term strategy or a short-term project. But a plan itself means nothing without action. It’s not what you decide to do that matters, but what you actually do. And what you actually do with a plan is called “implementation.” Implementing a plan is all about deciding who will do what, and when they will do it.

In this lesson, we’ll listen in on a meeting about how to implement a marketing plan. During the discussion, you’ll hear lots of useful expressions that we call “collocations.” A collocation is a natural combination or group of words. For example, I’ve already used the collocation “to implement a plan.” We don’t say “do a plan” or “activate a plan.” The natural expression is “to implement a plan.”

Native speakers use collocations like this automatically, and you can learn to use them as well. By studying English collocations, you’ll improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent. As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Carlos, Viv, Byron, and Marion. The small company they work for has just had a new marketing plan developed by a consulting company. Now they are meeting to figure out how to implement the plan.

Listening Questions

1. Carlos asks for volunteers on one aspect of the plan. What exactly does he want the volunteers to do?
2. As there’s lot to do on the website, what does Byron need to do as the lead?
3. What is Carlos going to do in three weeks time?

Premium Members: Study Notes | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module
Scroll to Top