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Surviving Stressful ERP Projects and Combatting Fatigue

Your ERP project is going great so far. You’ve selected a winning ERP system. Your project manager is exceptionally organized and has a structured timeline of deliverables that the team is quick to embrace. Everyone is on the same page and then . . . the inevitable happens. Everyone should have seen it coming – ERP project fatigue.

If only ERP implementations were quick and painless, then no one would ever grow weary of business process management (BPM), organizational change management (OCM) or any other integral aspect of implementing an enterprise solution. Unfortunately, ERP implementations are anything but quick and project managers and core team members are only human. Although organizations should expect and anticipate the possibility of exhaustion, many organizations are simply not this proactive.

Following are a few tips for combatting ERP project fatigue and reenergizing team members to achieve all the expected benefits of an ERP project:

  • Expect Fatigue – Keep in mind that energy usually wanes toward the middle of a project since team members forget their progress and only see the long road ahead. After the initial excitement of the project has worn off, emphasize the importance of looking at the big picture and of viewing the implementation in phases and concrete steps.
  • Assess Fatigue – Cultivating a strong relationship with team members is the best way to assess attitudes and opinions. Another way to encourage this kind of honest dialogue is to conduct focus groups and surveys and show how the feedback has influenced the direction of the project.
  • Acknowledge Fatigue – Never ignore the reality of a heavy, demanding schedule. Onerous workloads can intimidate even the most experienced team member. Also, never underestimate the value of recognition and encouragement. A little appreciation goes a long way when a team member is overwhelmed and worried about the future.
  • Combat Fatigue – Now it’s time to take action. Communicate your plan for combatting fatigue and, if necessary, adjust timelines and workloads. Role-sharing, task-rotation and team-building exercises are all great options for tackling the issues that potentially lead to reduced benefits realization and late delivery.

The earlier fatigue is addressed, the less likely it will affect the team’s performance. Be sure to visit our ERP Implementation page to learn how our independent ERP consultants provide direction to relieve the impact of stress and position your organization – and its people – for increased benefits and a high return on investment.

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Written by Jennifer Aldrich

As a creative and analytical-minded digital content strategist, Jennifer is experienced in writing, data analysis, communication strategy and social media. As the Marketing Lead at Panorama, Jennifer supports all of the company’s marketing and content development initiatives and regularly writes blog posts about best practices in organizational change management and other ERP implementation components. Jennifer holds a BA in Public Relations from Colorado State University.

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