Monday, August 27, 2007

Nonsensical Project Names

As is the practice with most tech companies, each project at my office gets assigned a code name, and as product manager, I get to try to be clever choosing the names. In a former business unit that followed a music theme for names, I selected my favorite waltz composer. When it came time to internationalize for French and German users, I named that project after the composer's multi-lingual opera star wife.

There was a sarcastic period too, where I dubbed a project "Phoenix" because it was rising from the ashes of a previous mess, and another one called "Sisyphus" because it was re-doing work we'd previously completed.

Then there are those times when the thematic and symbolic elements are completely missed. One particularly high profile endeavor was titled "Lincoln," a fine and respectable name. It would make sense to call the follow-up project "Washington," "Kennedy," or some other legendary president. Unfortunately, the new manager didn't quite have the same poetic sense, and the theme got morphed from Great Leaders to Cities in Nebraska instead. Like North Platte, or Omaha. Yeah, very inspirational.

When "Omaha" was announced as the Phase 2 name, my work buddy and I schemed how we could take the Phase 3 project name to new heights of tangential theming. After much thought, I came up with "State Farm." It's a tenuous connection, but can you figure it out?

The answer is after the unrelated photo that my dad sent of Q chirping, "Cakie, cakie, cake!"

A: The Mutual of Omaha and State Farm are both insurance companies. It's about as connected to the original Presidents theme as Cities in Nebraska.

Project names have been changed to project the innocent (and guilty).


bubandpie said...

I can well believe that you would be the queen of clever project names! (You know how I cover - and occasionally steal - your post titles.)

Sassy Belle said...

ooh! that's so darling. the picture of your son, I mean. I would very much like to name projects - it sounds very fun.

mayberry said...

Ugh. Sisphyus. I believe that's the one I'm working on now.

Bon said...

i like your project names...though the Omaha bit made me giggle.

i think somehow Sisyphus must have gotten passed around to a bunch of us...

and the cake?!? mmm.

Lady M said...

Ha, I didn't know that Sisyphus was so popular at offices across the world. ;)