Dealing with SAP Implementation Fatigue

  • 25 May 2015
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Implementing a new SAP solution is anything but relaxing. Numerous stages make up the implementation process and great effort needs to be put in by every team member to ensure a smooth operation. The start is always enthusiastic and initial phases such as selecting the suitable solution, determining deadlines, allocating responsibilities are carried quite smoothly. But as the project progresses, pace starts trickling down and then everyone just seems to hit the wall.

SAP B1 partners advice companies to be prepared for this phase. This happens when implementation fatigue sets in. Every single step during SAP implementation requires a lot of attention, hard work, focus and planning that it eventually catches up. It’s very easy to jot down the plan of action but following through with it stresses out even the very best. As a company, one should be proactive to expect and deal with implementation fatigue appropriately instead of expecting the team to power through the exhaustion while producing stellar results at the same time. Deal with it rather than ignoring or expecting never to face it.

Stages of Handling Implementation Fatigue

Fatigue is built up over time and is not something that mushrooms suddenly one fine day. There are several stages of handling it.

–          Expecting the fatigue stage:

First and foremost, expect your team to experience fatigue at some level of the project. The implementation team may consist of highly enthusiastic, positive, young and proactive bunch of people;they will start feeling stressful after a certain point. When pace of the project slows down slightly, when certain processes face hurdles which need to be addressed immediately etc. fatigue starts creeping in slowly. Expecting fatigue in the group is the first step to deal with it.

–          Evaluating Fatigue

While executing SAP Business One implementation services, not everyone will face the same level of fatigue. The only way to find out what every team member is feeling is by communicating openly with them. Promote a work culture where team members can confide in or discuss their problems and stress with their managers. Conduct focus groups, discussion one-on-one meetings or design a feedback system where the stress levels of the team can be assessed continually. Based on the evaluation, necessary actions can be taken.

–          Acknowledging stress and fatigue

Once evaluation of stress levels in the team is done, the gravest mistake would be to discard it as a tiny issue. It eventually snowballs and become such a big problem that addressing it proves to be difficult and time-consuming. On the contrary, it would be great if fatigue is detected at the earlier stages as dealing with it is faster and simpler. Remember that fatigue and stress can wear down the most experienced team member and reach intimidating heights threatening the overall productivity. Acknowledging is usually followed by addressing the core stress issues, but in the meantime it wouldn’t hurt to share an appreciative and encouraging word with the stressed out team member. It goes a long way in calming them down and lifting their spirits. It is important that managers and colleagues are not judgemental about their peers’ fatigue or stress issues. What may appear trivial to one may be quite significant to other, directly impacting their productivity.

–          Battling Fatigue

Once the groundwork is done, it is time to combat fatigue in the most effective manner possible. Be flexible and try to adjust timelines and re-assign workloads if required. SAP B1 partners maintain that being rigid would hinder the process and would do more harm in the long run. It is not necessary to reduce everybody’s workload as it may slow down the progress significantly; rather rotating the job responsibilities, allowing people to share tasks and encouraging regular team building exercises would reduce stress levels without affecting the deadlines. Ask for suggestions from team-members as well. Additionally, keep a check if these measures are working or not.

Fatigue can become contagious and if it’s not kept in check it won’t be long when everyone gets bogged down. Following through with SAP Business One implementation services isn’t easy but it surely can be made less stressful, so that the overall results are not affected.

Nidhi Batra

About the author

Nidhi Batra is a marketing and brand communication professional with 10 years of experience working in the dynamic B2B marketing environment. She strategizes, writes, reviews a variety of content for demand generation and sales support activities. Having a Master’s in English from Delhi University, she knows how to navigate her readers on insightful journeys with her SAP published blogs and thought leadership content.