Posted by: kerrywills | December 10, 2009

Realistic project names

I have now worked in large corporations with technology programs for almost fifteen years. Every organization has their major programs, each of which most likely has an acronym for its name. I enjoy hearing the optimistic words used in the titles, such as…

  • XXX Optimization
  • XXX Stabilization
  • XXX Effectiveness
  • XXX Excellence
  • XXX Breakthrough
  • New XXX


These names are always entertaining and inspiring because they have such powerful words used in them. What is most likely the case is that it is a replacement of what was the big project back some time ago (which probably had a powerful name of its own).  Wouldn’t it be great if we named projects what they really are? We would have such great program names as …

  • Fixing Crap we Messed Up Before (FCMUP)
  • The Cost Hemorrhage Project (CHP)
  • Spending Millions on Infrastructure (SMI)
  • We Designed It Too Complex Last time (WDITCL)
  • This Time It’s Different (TTID)
  • We Like This Tool Better (WLTTB)
  • The Other Guys Have This Already (TOGHTA)
  • If I Dont Spent My Budget I Get None Next Year (IIDSMBIGNNY)
  • We Got Off the Upgrade path and it will Cost Us Dearly (WGOUCUD)

I guess being truthful probably wouldnt get the project past the approval stage. But it sure would be funny to try….


  1. How about: Because I Want a Paycheck I’ll Do Anything (BIWAPIDA)

  2. So true…slthough you left out my favorite optimistic title: “Transformation,” often used without even an “XXX” to specify what’s to be transformed.

  3. I agree. I think we need to start the Project Nomenclature Rationalization and Disambiguation Project (PNRPD) to significantly improve project image and increase stakeholder buy-in.

    Honestly though, having a complicated project name in consulting lingo makes it that much harder to get it out of the gate. If you can’t get explain what a project name means in an elevator ride, we’re doing something wrong from the very beginning.

  4. xxxx Harmonization

    One of our favorites was BAG – Big A$$ Gap

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