What’s in a Name?

July 03, 2013

When it comes to project planning and execution, naming the project might seem like the smallest of tasks. A project really comes down to the task lists, roles & responsibilities, deadlines and important files, right? Think again- these are some of the necessary components of a project, but it is never complete without a proper name.

Why is a project name important?

A project name is comparable to a book title; it’s a first impression. According to John Parker with Demand Media, the title influences the success of the project undertaking. In other words, “what you see is what you get.” It’s important to give the project a name that reflects the project goals and is appealing to the project team so that they are invested in it from the start. First impressions are everything.

Collaboration and project management exist in Kona by way of spaces. And first impressions are especially important here. When someone receives a project space invite from me, the first they see is, “Katie Levenstein invited you to join the space Insight 2013 Planning.” The project name comes before anything else. As the space owner, you have two important goals: 1. Get the person you invited to accept your space invitation and 2. Give them an idea of what the project aims to accomplish.

How should I name my project?

The best name for a project is a short phrase highlighting its value or rationale, shares Dave Aron with itnews. As alluded to above, “such a name reminds everyone involved of the outcomes desired — and why it is worth doing well,” Aron says. Some different approaches for naming a project include:

Naming to reflect the purpose of the project– a statement that concisely outlines the project’s goals
Naming to imply a deeper story– sway your audience with an imaginative and emotionally moving name
Naming to satisfy organizational needs– stringent project-naming criteria can help prevent confusion when dealing with multiple projects
Benefits of internal and external names– select a short-term internal name to keep workflow going before a public name has been decided

For more information on these approaches, check out this article.

Naming a project/space is especially important in Kona as your list of spaces grows. When it comes to naming a Kona project space, I recommend putting particular attention on the uniqueness of the name. When someone scrolls through their Kona spaces, they should know right away what project each one covers.

What are your best project names? We’d love to hear about what you’re working on!

Be sure to check out this previous Kona blog post about selecting a space image.

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