The Aussie Corporate

Auscorp's favourite project names

Now we aren’t really known for being a creative lot, but behind that white shirt, navy tie and navy suit combo, we know there is artistic talent out there amongst you. But sure, even if you wanted to spread your wings in the day-to-day grind of AusCorp, we acknowledge there aren’t really many opportunities for you to do so. But there is one moment every once in a while when a light is allowed to flicker inside the hollow void where your creative spirit used to be. And that moment usually comes in the form of an email asking, “So… got any ideas for the project name?”.

It doesn’t seem like much, but it is a gesture that encourages free will, creative expression and an opportunity to impress. Much like how your favourite song or tv show might reveal much about you, same goes with the hefty responsibility of choosing a project name. We understand that even the most prolific artists require inspiration and that is exactly what we are here to do. We have scoured our community and compiled a bunch of the best and worst project names for your pleasure of viewing (noting that as unfortunate as some might be, they are all real anecdotal examples). 

The good

  • Artist names e.g. Project [Leonardo, Michelangelo etc] (or are these the ninja turtles?)
  • Space theme e.g. andromeda, betelgeuse etc if you really want to nerd it up
  • Project Winterfell – for any deals/projects that you know will have a painful and sub-par conclusion.
  • Project Sweat – also an actual deal where the clients bought a sexual wellness business
  • Project Rutherford for a demerger – named after the scientist who first split the atom 

The bad

  • Project Orange, which happened because someone saw an orange on their desk. 
  • Project Panadol, which was inspired because the client used to give a certain firm a massive headache
  • Project 2020, the epitome of bland and lack of foresight (especially since it becomes redundant now that we are in 2022)
  • Project Trifecta, which sounds like a creative gem for a transaction that had failed twice already, but where the firm’s internet firewall/filter detected “gambling” and blocked all emails.
  • Project Manhattan, Project Athena and Project Trinity for a series of demergers at a Big 4 bank. The theme? The US’ work to develop the first nuclear weapon during WWII.

The ugly

  • Project Icarus – where some poor junior had to gently ask their exec manager whether the project managers knew what this reference was to. Turned out they just thought it was a cool word and didn’t know it meant “crashing and burning out of hubris”
  • Project Brown is probably not a PC name for an Indian client
  • Project Valhalla – where a banker thought it was cool to take this from Nordic mythology. A European investor asked why the project was named “hall of the fallen”.
  • Project Harpies – just one letter away from an STI. 
  • Project Pussycat for a vet M&A acquisition. Probably okay if you don’t mind the fact that people started calling it Project Pussy after a while.
  • Project Celebrate was used for the sale of a factory with multiple people being made redundant. Brutal.

The repetitive

  • Project Falcon – why are birds of prey so popular?
  • Project Sunrise – apparently overused far too much in bank land. Guaranteed though that deal team will get zero sleep and actually be forced to see the sunrise when they left the office
  • Colours and shades seem to be the go-to for the unimaginative. Project white/blue are plenty.

After all this, we still haven’t quite worked out the formula for coming up with a banging project name, so we’ll leave that up to you. Or maybe we can just ask Macquarie, where apparently one team had a rule of no repeating project names. With that, we’re sure they’ll have certainly seen enough and copped enough grumbles from dull MDs to last them a lifetime.

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