What’s In A Name?

A trick I learned in the ’80’s . . .

Probably saved me . . . and the teams I served . . . thousands of hours!

Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . .

Naming goals and projects is a basic practice that most of us evolve, out of necessity.  Still, I often find myself suggesting “can we name this _________?” where the blank could be a project, product, idea, control, problem, SIEM version, incident . . . you name it.

Actually, that’s the point.

Naming it.

When we name our projects, it makes it easier to focus on them.  And, I’ve found, the better the name, the more successful the project.  We’ve had projects at my company (infotex) ranging, in name, from “Incubation” to “ROC” to “Back to the Basics” to “BHAG” to  “Sued Oaks” to “Operation Chiasmus” to “NG-SIEM” to “The Realignment” to “Kokono.”

Take the last one – the effort to get everybody to change the address they had on file for us.  Believe it or not, it involved many moving parts and was a lot more complex than we had ever anticipated.  Once we started calling it, “Kokono” our lives (and frustration), surrounding the surprise concept of “people won’t change our address,” lessened.  We no longer referred to it as “efforts to get people to change our address from the Kokomo office to the Buck Creek office.”  (Note:  It didn’t help we had an interim address in Lafayette).

Another example: I have a process I go through every Sunday morning that helps me get organized for the week.  Instead of calling it “getting organized for the week” I call it “crystallization.”  (I could explain the metaphor, but you should just watch our strategic planning video).

But it just makes so much more powerful when I refer to it as “crystallization.”

Joe and Jane ISO are two names that stand for “the people who help bankers keep their customers safe.”

Interestingly, one of the examples I offered above, NG-SIEM, is the last in a series of names we used for a HUGE project we’ve been working on since 2003.  And the progression of names related to this ever-evolving living organism called the Security Incident and Event Management system, actually tells an interesting story:

LogMon, Visualization Interface, ELM System, Midnight Caching, SIEM 2.0, NG-SIEM.

Heck, I wrote a song about Midnight Caching.

But there it is, in the list of names.  From the realization that all data should be in one database, in Jamaica, to the handover of the project to the next generation of cyberpoets at infotex.  Not only has our service evolved, but our name for it has, as well.

And what is my name for the process, “write a blog to inspire thought in the area of IT Governance?”

Dan’s New Leaf

Original article by Dan Hadaway CRISC CISA CISM. Founder and Managing Partner, infotex

Dan’s New Leaf a “fun blog to inspire thought in the area of IT Governance.”




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