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Why Should We Name Our Team?

When we establish Agile Teams we ask that Teams create a name, and that name reflects something meaningful to the Team Members. Why do we do this? Wouldn't it be easier if we just called the Team based on what they do? What's wrong with “the Database server team”.

The main reason we establish a Team name is so we can establish a Team identity and start the process of building a real Team; a group of people with a common goal, holding each other mutually accountable.

Think about it for a moment. My favorite college football team is “Alabama” (don't groan - stay with me here - add in your favorite sports team if it makes you feel better). Do we called it the “Alabama University College Football Club”. Well I am sure someone does. But most know it better as the “Crimson Tide”. It has a catch call - “roll tide”. It has an identity independent of what the people on the Team does.

Teams at work are no different. Team naming helps to establish Team identity. They are a source of pride. They are often fun and so contribute to engagement. They help Team members become accountable to each other and support bonding.

To establish a Team naming approach in your organization, you will probably need to set up some “acceptance criteria” both for the organization and the Team:

  • Cannot be related too closely to the work you are doing
  • Should be able to write the name using English (or whatever the primary language of your organization is) alphabet
  • It needs to pass the “Google test”. In other words, if you key the name into a Google search, nothing horrible comes back
  • Cannot be the same as or too close to another name at ExxonMobil
  • Teams should remember the name will be used for both internal and external communication
  • Team must reach consensus on the name. This means team members can say “I agree to this name and can support it (like it was my suggestion)”


  • Lead: Scrum Master
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Materials: Sticky notes / sharpies for brainstorming (optional)
  • Outline: Team discussion
/home/hpsamios/ · Last modified: 2020/06/02 14:22 (external edit)