Modern organizations are increasingly choosing to adopt off-the-shelf software applications (e.g., Enterprise Systems, ES) rather than develop tailor-made solutions. However, many studies have shown that adopting prepackaged software is difficult with these large scale, highly integrated ES, amplifying the potential for organizational conflict – in part due to their embedding of external ‘best practices.’ Research has begun investigating the process by which these best practice designs are eventually resolved within the implementing organization. We contribute to this emerging literature by seeking to explore project survival – the turnaround process by which a troubled project at go-live becomes a working information system. Using data from an intensive qualitative field study, we argue that practices are negotiated through processes of use rather than being permanently and systematically selected during a particular moment in time. Thus, we find that project survival is achieved as an outcome of a continued process of negotiation in the post-implementation period.