The power of a name and its value shouldn’t be ignored. Every person recognizes himself or herself by their name. What would happen if I walked into a team room and only addressed people by their roles – “How’s it going Test Lead?”, “What’s up, BSA?”, or “Hey Product Owner, can you talk with Lead Developer?” You’d get irritated with me very quickly. I know that when some says “Hi, Scrum Master” I get agitated because that’s what I do, not who I am.
Because we identify our selves by our names. We take pride in who we are named after and what values we live by, not what we do for a living. The same idea holds true for teams because just like we as people are an ecosystem of our own experiences, a team is an ecosystem of its collective experiences and the experiences of each person on that team.
Having the team select a name as they start down their journey together is an important step in learning to work together as a team.
- It provides a shared identity for a bunch of people who would otherwise just be working together.
- It gives them an identity that is separated from the type of work that they are doing.
- It gives people outside of the team an identifier for the team.
- It represents a common culture and value set for a group of people.
- It is a good exercise in consensus-building for teams. Consensus-building is a characteristic of a high performing team.
Name thyself (but have fun doing it)