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Topics: Communications Management, Talent Management, Teams
Metaphors, Projects and Project Management
Do you usually associate the projects you generate with a metaphor?

What characteristics, in your opinion, should these metaphors have?
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Luis

Not always, but we usually associate the buildings with meaningful names that means something to the owners. For example, we are currently building a seniors community for a non-for-profit client and we gave the buildings names like: Sequoia, Hawthorn, Maple.

So its not a metaphor per say but a meaningful name that relates to the client.

RK
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 29, 2020 2:17 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Rami
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

A compelling metaphor is "history" in a picture / portrait of five words or less

I worked on several important projects
At some point, it became clear that a succinct metaphor / image ... coming out of the heart is worth a thousand words
My experience is very similar to Rami. Projects are given names that are usually meaningful but sometimes whimsical.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 29, 2020 2:21 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Stéphane
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

A provocative, powerful, indelible metaphor = definitive in communication
Tip: this is worth days of your precious time
Hello Luis: Our projects are always named specifically for the software or other type of implementation. I have never associated projects with a metaphor before. I like how Rami associated building names that meant something to the owners though.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 29, 2020 2:28 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Lori
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Until I realized the importance of a metaphor associated with my projects (and of course the team), I didn't even put that issue on my agenda ...
Now I "demand" that any project team I'm working with spend a good time with the metaphor
Jan 29, 2020 12:25 PM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
Luis

Not always, but we usually associate the buildings with meaningful names that means something to the owners. For example, we are currently building a seniors community for a non-for-profit client and we gave the buildings names like: Sequoia, Hawthorn, Maple.

So its not a metaphor per say but a meaningful name that relates to the client.

RK
Dear Rami
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

A compelling metaphor is "history" in a picture / portrait of five words or less

I worked on several important projects
At some point, it became clear that a succinct metaphor / image ... coming out of the heart is worth a thousand words
...
1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Jan 29, 2020 3:53 PM
Rami Kaibni
...
Luis

I know what a metaphor is but thanks for the reminder :-)

RK
Jan 29, 2020 1:09 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
My experience is very similar to Rami. Projects are given names that are usually meaningful but sometimes whimsical.
Dear Stéphane
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

A provocative, powerful, indelible metaphor = definitive in communication
Tip: this is worth days of your precious time
Jan 29, 2020 1:43 PM
Replying to LORI WILSON
...
Hello Luis: Our projects are always named specifically for the software or other type of implementation. I have never associated projects with a metaphor before. I like how Rami associated building names that meant something to the owners though.
Dear Lori
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Until I realized the importance of a metaphor associated with my projects (and of course the team), I didn't even put that issue on my agenda ...
Now I "demand" that any project team I'm working with spend a good time with the metaphor
Jan 29, 2020 2:17 PM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Rami
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

A compelling metaphor is "history" in a picture / portrait of five words or less

I worked on several important projects
At some point, it became clear that a succinct metaphor / image ... coming out of the heart is worth a thousand words
Luis

I know what a metaphor is but thanks for the reminder :-)

RK
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 30, 2020 5:19 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Rami
Thank you for your opinion

I just wanted to reinforce what, from a certain point on, became clear to me :-)
Hi Luis,

In medium to large sized projects, I use them. Smaller ones, sometimes.

Metaphors serve a purpose, and when well used/applied they help converge stakeholders towards common goals, provides a base for internal branding (sometimes it even becomes an official thing) and it provides a sense of belonging/ownership to everyone gravitating around it.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 30, 2020 5:24 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear John
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

I fully agree with what you have written about the power of using a metaphor

Is there any reason to do this only for medium to large sized projects?
Luis,

I think metaphors get used more to describe the “state of” or “characteristic of” a project. For instance:

- A Skunkworks project that is now ready for the smell test.
- A Rocketship project that you are going to have a hard time landing.
- Critical Mass (variant meaning), a project that is about to implode under its own weight.

Other ideas?
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 30, 2020 5:46 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear George
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

I fully agree with what you wrote: "I think metaphors get used more to describe the" state of "or" characteristic of "a project"

They can also be used in relation to the outcome of the project
- The school that gives you wings

Or in relation to the way you work, Jack Welch's famous metaphor: Work-out
Metaphors for project names were commonly used by my last client for confidential initiatives. The metaphor acted almost as an inside joke for those who "needed to know".

Kiron
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 30, 2020 5:49 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

In your opinion, can metaphors also be used for other purposes?
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