9 Challenging Elements within M&A that Agile Project Management Eliminates
Agile M&A promises to identify and eliminate waste that otherwise contributes to poor customer service, lost business, higher business costs and lost employee productivity. As such, Agile M&A targets nine elements within M&A operations that add no value to the finished service or to the parent organization.
Waste/Challenges within M&A
- Duplicate Work
- Extra Processes
- Task Switching
- Defects (Missed Findings)
- Management Activities
- Customer Delays
- Employee Knowledge (Unused)
- Unclear Communication
An Agile project management system can help eliminate these common waste items in M&A
1. Duplicate Work
Common duplicate work items in M&A are
- repeated details on forms
- having to re-enter data
- copy information across different documents
- answer queries from several sources within the same organization
Duplicate work is often a result of traditional M&A processes. For example, teams that use Excel for due diligence often have more than one person complete a request because it is unclear who is working on what. When M&A professionals spend time on duplicate work, it prevents them from focusing on higher-value work, and can lead to frustration. It also causes the deal to take longer. Using an Agile project management helps teams assign requests and tasks to specific people, resulting in less duplicate work.
2. Extra Processes
If a process is not Agile, employees will have to perform extra steps in order to finish a task.
When teams don't use project management technology, they have to take extra steps to complete just one task. With Agile project management, everything can be done in one single work stream. For example, an analyst completing a due diligence request would have to find the file in the VDR, download it, upload it into the Excel tracker, save the most recent Excel file, and then send the Excel tracker around to other team members.
But with a project management software, the analyst could do every step on the platform.
3. Task Switching
Along with eliminating extra processes, Agile project management prevents having to jump between multiple software to complete tasks, since it encourages one integrated platform.
The old way of doing M&A involved email, spreadsheets, Excel trackers, etc. and was spread out among multiple platforms. It required users to search and retrieve information from different locations. The more platforms used the increased likelihood of making errors.
4. Defects (missed findings)
Without an Agile system you can't have a bird's-eye view of the deal and won't know where bottlenecks may be. This can lead to an interruption of workflow and processes due to unforeseen bottlenecks.
With Agile, people communicate and collaborate clearly, giving everyone a clear view of the deal. Teams can detect issues earlier and use analytics to predict synergies, or lack of, before they become a problem.
5. Management Activities
Managing details and making sure tasks are addressed can be tedious without a proper system. When there are too many activities to track, management becomes very time-consuming and exhausting.
Agile project management not only gives management a clear view of a deal's progress, but also allows them to delegate work and set key roles. Everyone knows who is assigned what, which not only prevents duplicate or missed work, but increases accountability.
The waiting game is extremely common among traditional M&A processes.
You have to wait for requests to be completed on Excel, or maybe only one person can edit at a time, causing things to get done in batches instead of real time.
Project management software includes progress charts and analytics. It is easy to see which requests still need to be completed and set critical due dates.
7. Customer Delays
Nothing is worse than making customers experience delays in waiting for service, delivery, response, or items not arriving as promised. This causes customers to lose trust in the company and go somewhere else for the same service.
Everyone involved in the M&A process should have some type of access to Agile project management software including buyers, sellers, the management team, and additional third parties. When everyone is on the same platform, delays can be reduced.
8. Unused Employee Knowledge
Employees are a wealth of knowledge about the true inner workings of a company.
Without an Agile process, you can't tap in on their innovation ideas and experience. Not only does Agile prevent them from spending time on repetitive or mundane tasks, it allows employers to see what an employee's day to day looks like and improve on their process.
An Agile tool also helps teams reuse work and information collected during due diligence during other parts of a deal lifecycle, such as integration.
9. Unclear Communication
When communication is happening in multiple platforms, time is wasted seeking clarification. There is confusion and misunderstanding, and things get lost.
With Agile, everyone is on the same page and knows where to access what they need, and where to voice questions and conversations.
If you are seeking to eliminate these 9 waste items for your M&A process, Agile is the solution.
This article is part 5 in our Agile M&A 101 blog series. Check out part 4 of the series, 5 Reasons to Use an Agile Project Management System.
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