What’s In a (Project) Name?

As the instigators of change, project often present challenges to an organisation. However, we have become aware of a different project challenge. In this project, the senior leaders of the organization are engaged in a serious battle…over the name of the project! Why would that ever matter, and what would cause such a fight?

The cause of this fight is the SOLUTION options that might be brought to bear to solve the business problem. Treading into one of the most treacherous project landscapes – and leading causes of “troubled projects” – both managers in this scenario are looking toward the differing solution approaches they want to deploy, rather than the business outcomes they are seeking to achieve. This naming battle has led to various acts of posturing and a lack of communication that has severely strained the trust between teams in the organisation.

Outcomes are the very reason projects come to being. Good solutions are the result of thorough analysis of the business situation with existing and desired processes being carefully examined. Keeping the focus away from deriving a solution too early in the project lifecycle is something with which many organisations struggle. Naming a project in a way that refers to a specific solution could well be the kiss of death. Good project habits should start from the very inception of a project, and with how the project is named!

So what IS in your project name? Are you implying a solution rather than a business outcome?