M&A Integration Processes and Issues

In M&A it is essential to avoid damaging the value of the deal. It is therefore important to take time to plan and build your processes. My experience has shown that the most frequent issues are around people, how they react to changes as well as their resistance to it and how they respond when something doesn’t work the way they intended.

One of the main tasks we provide to our clients is to assist them in setting up a procedure that allows them to spot potential issues early and respond to them quickly. That can mean such things as having a weekly meeting in which the IMO and functional work streams examine progress against the plan and escalate issues and risks to SteerCo.

After the process for solving issues is established, it is important to concentrate on implementing. It’s crucial to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them and how they will be evaluated and when. It’s also about clearly defining accountability (i.e. ownership of the end results) and decision making authority for the entire integrated business.

It is vital that the CEO and senior managers can focus at minimum 90 percent of their time focused on the most important issues and not be distracted by integration tasks. A great way to do this is to select an effective leader to lead the Decision Management Office (IMO) which will help triage the decisions and coordinate the work streams. This person could be from the acquired company or be a rising star within the merged company with the backing of their boss.

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