9 Don’ts When Picking a Project Name

Project names are often assigned to a new project to bring it to life and give it an identity. From our experience, when picking a name for a project keep the following in mind:

  1. Do not use complicated acronyms – people will come up with their own clarification – CDA (Customer Delivery Architecture) – soon became Can’t Deliver Anything.
  2. Do not have a project name that is too long – “Developing Applications That Enable Customers to Book Training Online” is just not catchy.
  3. Be careful with using existing brands –  a “Sunny Delight” project collapsed with the demise of the brand.
  4. Humour may backfire – what about project Earwax?
  5. Avoid oversized project titles – “the Most Wonderful Project” is building you up for failure.
  6. Do not use phrases such as “for all”, “everything”– it is unlikely that you will achieve the right outcome for all and will set an unrealistic expectation.
  7. Do not muddle the scope – project “Keeping it Local” aimed to close down 50 regional warehouses – also a very poor acronym!
  8. Do not opt for a negative annotation – project Hades (the god of the underworld) will struggle to get you buy-in from staff.
  9. Do not name the project after the CEO – Project Dave became a laughing stock and dented the CEO’s reputation.

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