08. Give the Project a Name

Overview: This task is an important component of project communication. A change initiative name helps uniquely identify a change effort. While on the surface this task may seem trivial, a well-formed initiative name has considerable value. A poorly formed name can have a negative effect.

Considerations: An ideal project name is brief, descriptive, easy to remember, likable, interesting, and meaningful. Use this opportunity to get other people involved. Be creative. Ask for suggestions from the stakeholder group. Consider having a contest. Use a name that sounds like a sequel of a previously successful change: Successful Change II. Create a meaningful acronym that makes a word. Can this process be used as a way to promote or introduce the coming change? Are there some key people who should contribute to this activity? Who are some creative employees, possibly outside of the department, that can help with this activity? Some ideas or names might be trademarked or in some other way not fitting with corporate standards. Is there someone from the marketing department responsible for branding that should be involved, at least on a consulting basis?


  • State to the Farmers and Scientists “This task is important to create efficiency during the project itself. Having a clear project name will streamline project communication.”
  • Evaluate the relative importance of this task. High profile, substantial, or difficult changes require thoughtful attention to this task.
  • Choose approach to finding name; e.g., assign a small group to come up with possibilities; have a team lunch or naming party.
  • Select three or four candidate names. Evaluate the names using the following guidelines: brief, descriptive, easy to remember, and meaningful. A visual image, icon, or graphic can enhance a name.
  • Avoid infringement of register trademarks and explore the possible value of registering the selected name.
  • Avoid using the organization logo or brand name with the project name. Usually there are corporate standards about the proper use of a company logo and brand. This is a common mistake that many well-intended teams encounter.
  • Select one of the names. Get a consensus. Publish the result to participants.

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