Accelerating your integration often comes down to early planning, process management, and the tool, or tools, used to make your process management more effective.
These three arenas should help integration teams, as all three have the potential to lead to increased communication, collaboration, team member efficiency, and an overall more successful integration.
Diligence cannot be allowed to eat up so much of executives’ time that planning for integration is missed. In fact, it is during diligence that the tone for the most successful integrations is being set.
During this early planning stage, the buy-side needs to be sure it is connected to the appropriate people from the target company; therefore, an Agile-esque kick-off meeting, or gathering of all potential stakeholders, is necessary at the commencement of diligence.
This creates clear expectations, in addition to allowing the buy-side to gather critical information related to the target company’s culture and how well (and fast) the target company functions. Additionally, connecting and communicating with the right individuals leads to fewer information gaps down the road, and provides a proactive approach to potential problems, while also avoiding the time drain of always having to bring integration teams up to speed.
Process management is another crucial aspect of planning for, and executing, a smooth integration. A strong PMO should keep everyone performing at high levels (hence, accelerating your integration), create transparency, and keep the acquisition safe.
Transitioning to a more Agile approach has been proven to improve the integration process as teams are looking at the big picture versus a checklist of tasks. This eliminates the wasted time and stoppages often associated with a more traditional waterfall workflow. (check out our intro to Agile blog post here)
It also eliminates team members spending time on small checklist items that really do not matter in the grand scheme of things. In addition, Agile project management can eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, negative associations the target company may have with integration.
How does Agile do this? Well, with Agile, small changes are implemented over a period of time - so nothing radically changes overnight. This greatly aids employee morale and buy-in.
While a tool is never the cure-all for any team’s M&A problems, the right tool can speed up the integration process and produce valuable data for integration teams. DealRoom has been proven to help deals close 40% faster, but today I would like to focus on how DealRoom can be used to super-charge your integration needs. DealRoom is a process management tool with an overlay for due diligence requests.
When the buy-side or banks use DealRoom, they see increased collaboration and a massive cut-down of emails. When DealRoom’s use is continued to integration and post-closing activities, its data can be reused and the tool itself can help the integration team avoid duplicate work - a common pitfall that slows the entire integration process and wastes valuable employees’ time.
More specifically, items can be tagged during the diligence process for integration.
Planning for integration during due diligence and taking a more Agile approach can make for faster and more successful integrations. After all, deal-making is all about maximizing value.