Give your team a kick ass name

Why being specific in your team names leads to dissonance.

This article is for the team leads, the directors and delivery managers.

It’s a problem I thought common sense would prevent, but it would seem not. Naming your team after your product is a bad idea. Here are a few reasons why:

  • The product might change and the name become out dated
  • You typecast yourself instead to match the name
  • The name sticks even if its a sucky name
  • The product name ends up being called the same as the team name

Instead give yourself a kick-ass name, team “kick ass” isn’t a bad way to go. A product VP once set up a team called kick ass and promised if we launched we would turn up at the next convention dressed as the heroins to do a presentation in front of 1000s. Not sure that was the best motivation or not, but the name stuck and while the product chopped and changed in its early infancy the name stayed strong. Here are a few reason why you might want to have a kick ass name

  • It’s fun, don’t be boring.
  • The product can change loads and the name is still (ir)relevant
  • You can assume alter egos — more fun
  • The teams can move onto different products and keep the name
  • You don’t have to keep updating everything every time the product name changes
  • It keeps things under wraps if you so choose. Think Microsoft project names like Scorpio and Metro.
  • Your name can follow a theme or have a secret message. Like another team I was in: ‘Highlander’. One team to rule them all.

Good read

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TYIT Ltd provides a full stack UX consultancy that designs accessible digital services. We've helped complex organisations like BEIS and DfE achieve digital transformation by running Lean and Agile discovery processes.

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