Summary: Kickoff is a free project management training course from PMI. It will take you 45 minutes to complete and includes useful templates. It comes in two flavors: Agile and Waterfall and you can earn a badge for both.

PMI Kickoff logo

Are you looking for free project management training? An online course that will help you get started if you haven’t managed a project before?

If you have been asked to manage a project for the first time, there can be a fair bit of pressure – that there’s no time to waste, that you’ll just have to learn through trial and error, that you should just get started. But what does getting started really mean? What’s your first step, and how do you know it’s the right one?

It’s hard to get your project started out right, especially if you don’t have people around you whom you can ask, or the resources (like project management documents) to get you going.

Enter Kickoff from PMI , a free digital learning tool that helps you kick off successful projects – from start to finish – in just 45 minutes. No crazy jargon to hold you back, no boring lectures to put you to sleep, and certainly no unnecessary material you’d find in a capstone seminar.

Kickoff offers:

  • A predictive and iterative track, depending on what suits your environment best (or do both like I did)
  • Simple, interactive activities to compliment and reinforce the bite-sized content
  • Downloadable templates to help you start planning and get work done immediately
  • Definitions of key terms that you’ll most certainly come across throughout your project
  • Appropriate questions to ask at any stage of your project and to the right stakeholders.

Ready for my review of this free project management course? Let’s go!

Kickoff project management free training on laptop screen
The Kickoff course is fully mobile compatible and has agile and predictive content

Who is this for?

Kickoff is a 45-minute course on the very basics of project management. It’s a good resource for someone responsible for leading a project for the first time. You could also use it as an onboarding exercise for new team members who are working on a project team for the first time.


  • It’s free!
  • Templates! You get the right project management documentation to download, with a guide on how to use it.
  • The questions at the beginning help you determine whether the Agile or Predictive (Waterfall) track would be best, although you can take both.
  • The course is very much centered on the basics, with no waffle.
  • The user experience is lovely. The graphics are great and it’s easy to navigate.
  • It’s fully mobile-responsive so you can access it on tablets and phones.
  • You get a badge for sharing on social media.


  • I don’t like that the predictive route gives you a badge that says ‘Waterfall’. Who calls it that any more?
  • The badge doesn’t seem to be ‘connected’ to the Credly PMP® badge system, so you have to download a picture of it and upload it to your LinkedIn profile. I’ve shared that feedback with PMI so we’ll see if in the future it is possible to add it in to the system, but I suspect they would prefer to keep official badges for paid courses.
  • I only tested it on desktop so I can’t speak for how it appears on a smaller screen. There are some elements, like the drag and drop exercises, that might be fiddly on a small screen.

Free course

Kickoff from PMI

Kickoff from PMI

An excellent free beginners project management course that comes in Agile and Predictive versions. Perfect for accidental project managers and people needing a structured approach to project work for the first time.

Take the course

We may earn a referral fee if you sign up #pmiaffiliate #ad

How to access PMI Kickoff

Here’s how to access the free PMI training that is the Kickoff course.

Step 1: Log in

Navigate to the Kickoff registration page .

Log in with your PMI account details or create a free account if you are not already registered with PMI.

Step 2: Accept the terms and conditions

You’ll be used to this step: every site asks for it. Read the terms and conditions. Then scroll to the bottom to tick the box.

Step 3: Find your learning path

Answer the questions.

Your answers will influence the next steps, but if you don’t agree with the conclusion presented, you have the chance to go through the questions again and change your answers. Then you might get a different learning path that might suit you better.

Kick off learning path screenshot
Work through the questions at the start of the Kickoff course and it will show you content most relevant to what you need now.

Step 4: Do the tutorial

You don’t have to do the tutorial. But it is a quick way to familiarize yourself with the site and how to use it.

The tutorial sets out the case study you will be working on and shows what is to come. You’ll get templates to download to help you implement the work at each step.

Step 5: Take the course

Go through the course materials, step by step. Download the free templates and do the exercises.

Despite being offered the Waterfall path, my learning path included a section on Kanban boards and a burndown chart template. That’s handy from a general ‘getting the work done’ point of view. It doesn’t hurt to learn about techniques that are useful and will help you keep on top of your tasks, even if they don’t traditionally fit into what a ‘waterfall’ project would typically use.

Don’t miss the assessment at the end of each module: drag and drop or answer the questions to get your star. That’s the way to get to the next lesson. The assessments are easy, for the most part. I found most of the answers were presented in the order you needed to use them for the correct answer.

Free project management training
Work through the modules to earn your badge

Step 6: Earn your badge

What’s not to like about earning a badge to display on your LinkedIn profile?

That’s it!

Kickoff badges
Hands off! These are the ones I earned 🙂 Get your own here.

In summary

I thought Kickoff, PMI’s free training, was well put together. It’s an interactive online learning course that has truly been built with the user in mind.

If you are new to project management or want a simple training program that new starters on your team can use, then I highly recommend this.

Take a look at Kickoff now.

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