What’s in a team name?

One of my favorite team jelling accelerators is to find a sweet team name.

The classic book “Peopleware” by Tom DeMarco says that a jelled team should have a sense of eliteness, almost a cult-like team pride. I’ve done my share of rambling about that too.

All successful cults have great names, so obviously your team should have one too. Simple logic. A team name gives you an identity to rally around.

Calling your team “The ClientNameHere Project Team” is like calling the Vikings “The Minnesota NFL Team.” Imagine the uniforms. Good luck rallying around that.

A good team name has 3 criteria:

  • It comes about organically. If you force it then it’ll feel like you’re trying too hard, and it won’t stick. Let it arise out of a memorable conversation or an inside joke, and just give it some gentle nudging.
  • It works in both the plural and singular form. If your team is “The Fiddly Bits” then you can say “I’m a Fiddly Bit”. That works. But if it’s “Team Super Awesome”, then you have to say something like “I am a member of Team Super Awesome.” It doesn’t have the same punch to it.
  • It has a visual representation, such as a mascot or logo or GIF that you can spam on Slack when the team does something right. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand Slack messages.

Here are some of the teams I’ve been on in the past few years:

Does your team have a name? Tweet me and let me know!

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