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A Bridge to Enterprise Project Management, Part 1


Managing Multiple Projects
Four tips on how to create strong project titles.

It is easy to underestimate the value of a strong project title as the foundation for a successful project.

  1. Adjectives help create a project title that summarizes the reason for the project's existance. 

    Consider the popular "Project X" or the ubiquitous "Database Project" or the innocous "Construction Project."  Something all these projects have in common is that their titles offer little to explain them.  Given that a project is something that people will be expected to rally around, the project's title ought to convey some idea of what the project is about. Notice how a few well-chosen adjectives as in "Customer Service Database Project," "On-Line Transaction Processing Project," "Morton Building Seismic Upgrade" or "Employee Safety Certification" describe what these projects actually are. 
  2. Avoid over-sized project titles. 

    The urge to title a project "The Most Wonderful Project in the World" can overcome anyone, thought government and nonprofits seem to be more swayed by oversized project titles than most. 
    "Housing for All" suggests housing for everyone on Earth.  A more descriptive title like "Allerton Avenue Housing Development" provides a more realistic point of view.  Familiar names of great scope like "Habitat for Humanity," "Amnesty International" or "Doctors without Borders" are the names of organizations not the projects within them.
  3. Avoid project titles that are playful or coy.  

    When one individual in a Fortune 500 corporation planned to call the company's career development centers "One-Stop 'Future' Boutiques," management rightly settled on the less colorful, but more meaningful choice of Employee Career Centers. 
  4. Generally, project titles contain four to six words. 

    A long title like "Developing Video-Based Applications that Can Be Staged on the Internet or Published on DVDs" will say more with less.  This project title can do without the staging information; save the details for the project description and scope of work. 

After projects have been separated from non-projects and their titles have been clarified, the next step in managing multiple projects is to build a project inventory where all of the projects are listed by title with their planned start and finish dates, the name of each project's leader, each project's priority, a budget total, a project ID number and other key project characteristics.

Organize an individual, team or organization with Managing Multiple Projects.
Learn and apply techniques for managing multiple projects in the
Multiple Projects Workshop.

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