Have you ever thought about the things that we name besides pets and children?
I have known people that named their instruments, and some that have even named their cars. Or, how about the nicknames that we give friends and family? There are at least 10 people that come to mind when I think of friends and family with nicknames.
Names are even an essential part of movie culture too. Think about it. How many of us have watched the "Bourne" movies, and not been able to recite the project names? Treadstone, Blackbriar, do those ring a bell?
So like Juliet in the Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet, we ask ourselves "What is in a name"?
There is a special significance created when we name something or give someone a nickname. These names usually come from a circumstance, and it is something that is typically bound to positive emotions. So, when I think of my friend and their nickname, I remember the event where the nickname was born - and I smile.
In the case of naming a car or other inanimate object, the message of the name usually has to do with who gave you the item or if it is something that has a sense of meaning and purpose for you. People often will name instruments. They are valuable to them and have special purpose in their life that is related to their abilities.
When taking on a new project at work, we often naturally give the project a pet name, and it may or may not be a positive one. Naming your ERP project should be one of the first steps of planning and developing your game plan. Let me explain why:
1. Provide a Positive name - This gives you the opportunity to put a positive name on the ERP implementation before the potential negative nickname emerges and allows you to set the tone for the implementation. ERP implementation requires a lot of planning and extra time. The individuals on your implementation team probably don't have a lot of extra time, so the project can take time away from their already pressing duties.
2. Look at it like a Mission Statement - The name of a project should imply its purpose and what you are desiring to achieve by updating your ERP software. Are you looking for more visibility? Reporting? Product mobility? Flexibility? The name should reflect the goal or goals of the update.
3. Make it Meaningful - Just like giving a childhood friend a nickname creates meaning and emotion around that person, making your ERP project name meaningful has the same effect.
4. Think of your Corporate Culture - The ERP project name should also be reflective of the culture of your company. Companies have a personality that flows from the top down, and becomes an identifier. It is usually in the company mission statement or motto.
5. Have fun with it - The best nicknames and the ones that are most meaningful usually come from something fun. Think back over other planning sessions and demos of the ERP system and pinpoint the moments where there was laughter or an element of enjoyment.
6. Don't name the implementation after the software - Naming the project after the software has no special connotation for you or your implementation team, except that this is the software that was chosen.
Naming an ERP implementation project should not be optional, it should be the catalyst for creating a positive ERP implementation experience.