Almost all successful ERP projects require strong task, time and people management skills. Each company and implementation presents its own unique set of organizational cultures, personalities, and challenges. With hundreds of successful projects under our belt here at RKL eSolutions, it’s easy to overlook how change affects our customers during an ERP upgrade or new implementation.
In this article, we’ll share 3 creative customer tactics that can help minimize anxiety and avoid common ERP project pitfalls that too many companies fall victim to.
Celebrate milestone achievements
Most ERP implementations span several months with natural ebbs and flows of emotion from anxiety to jubilation on any given day. One idea to boost morale and remind the project team of its progress and accomplishments is to celebrate milestone achievements. The celebrations don’t need to be elaborate or expensive and might include pizza parties, ice cream socials or donuts for breakfast.
Tip! During the project planning phases, one of our clients identified major and minor milestones with unique rewards attached to each. For example, major milestones were associated with successful data conversions, end user training and go-live with rewards including ice cream socials and gift card raffles for on-time and successful sign-off. Minor milestones were reserved for completion of functional group setups and were recognized via internal communications and employee spotlights.
Recognize and thank your ‘super user’ team
Many customers forget the additional stress and workload that an ERP implementation can create for the super users and operational users during the project. Very few customers staff a full-time dedicated project manager which means these individuals are asked to double-dip; performing their daily tasks while balancing the needs of the implementation project.
Tip! Be sure to recognize the individuals and their extra effort required during and after the project go-live. Some of our customers have chosen to recognize the extraordinary contributions of project managers and super users via employee of the month recognition, special performance incentives, additional PTO hours, or gift cards intended for personal use like a spa package or dinner to a favorite restaurant.
Throw a ‘retirement party’
When the decision is made to go-live with your new system, one of our clients decided to throw a retirement party for the old system. This is a great way to put the past behind you, while acknowledging the valuable role the old system played in the evolution of your business.
In creative emails and team meetings, we’ve seen customers forgive the old system, laugh about some of the challenging situations it caused, and reminisce about struggling with outdated technologies.
Here’s a humorous example from one of our clients saying goodbye to its old ERP solution:
Don’t fear your implementation project. Embrace the opportunity to impact your organization with thoughtful and meaningful input to increase your operational efficiencies. Take time to recognize and celebrate your milestone accomplishments, too. Your project and your project team will be thankful you did!
Avoid project challenges and increase your likelihood of a successful implementation.
Download 8 Pitfalls of ERP Project Failure:
- Common factors that can interfere or derail your ERP project.
- How to define implementation failure so you know what to look for.
- How a successful ERP implementation looks so you know what to measure.
- Guidance for choosing the right ERP system for your needs.