Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are perhaps one of the most complex, information-dense and unpredictable processes within the finance industry. M&A deals require an incredible amount of planning, organization, communication and insight. Therefor, it is very important that deal teams have the proper technology and tools to aid in the process.
Before defining software for m&a project management, we should look at the meaning of M&A project and project management.
What is M&A Project?
The meaning of an M&A project is simple. An M&A project includes any activities necessary to execute an M&A transaction, and due to the complexities of these types of transactions, there are many different steps involved in M&A projects.
If the various M&A projects surrounding a deal are effectively management, the higher chance of deal success. However, failure to properly plan M&A projects can also lead to deal failure.When beginning an M&A project, there are three different areas to consider: the project structure, the team, and specific task roles.
Each project is unique, so these three areas can’t be duplicated project to project. Also, instead of lumping an entire deal into one M&A project, create separate projects, as well as sub-projects, and determine priority. This helps make your processes Agile and the most effective.
What is M&A Management?
M&A management of projects is the planning, organizing, and managing the effort to accomplish a successful M&A deal. Project management enables teams to have cross-functional collaboration, and delegation.
Over the last decade, many improvements have been made to technology enabling more efficient and collaborative project management. These technological advancements have made their way into many industries. However, deal teams seem to still be managing complex, ever-changing M&A the same they did 20 years ago.
That's where M&A project management software can play an important and modernizing role.
What is Project Management Software for M&A?
Project management software for M&A is software designed to manage and organize multiple M&A deals throughout the transactions’ entirety. The features included software are built with M&A in mind. For example, platforms include pipeline management because teams are often managing more than one transaction at a time.
Why does M&A Management Matter?
In any deal there are a lot of necessary steps to take. Whether buy-side, sell-side, investment management M&A, asset management M&A, or even if it involves an investment bank, private equity firm, or corporate development business, the necessary workflows are intricate. Many hands are involved in each deal, confidential information is shared, and hard decisions are made. During the deal, it is important for the deal team to know exactly what stage these processes are in, while also being able to see the big picture and end goals.
Until recently, the M&A due diligence process required long email threads, virtual data rooms, Excel trackers, and other tedious forms of m&a project organization and communication. But not anymore.
After decades of managing deals with outmoded forms of technology and practices, project and deal management software has finally made its way to the M&A industry. M&A management teams are now able to centralize communication, organize workflow, and track progress on one platform.
How to Successfully Manage Your M&A Activities?
In order to successfully manage M&A activities, teams need to be equipped with the right tools. They need to use a platform specially designed for M&A. One that allows every aspect of the deal, from sourcing, all the way to integration, to be managed in one spot.
M&A project management software is bringing M&A processes into the 21st century.
M&A deal management software includes the tools and techniques required to complete a deals more efficiently, more timely and more successfully. The software is designed specifically to fix the inefficiencies commonly seen in due diligence and throughout a deal’s lifecycle.
Asset Management M&A Software includes the following features:
The list above is not just a list of fancy features. This is a list of new techniques that are changing the way diligence management is approached and managed. The techniques above are allowing deal teams to close deals 40% faster, they transform the way common tasks are approached, and are bringing deal management and procedure into the 21st century.
A key aspect of these techniques is a method called Agile. Traditionally, deal teams use a waterfall approach to deal management, a strict, linear method. However, Agile principles are much better suited to M&A deals’ unpredictable nature.
The Agile approach takes advantage of parallel, asynchronous workflows to allow m&a project teams to work in small increments, optimizing the completion of individual tasks while minimizing wait times between the tasks themselves. However, in order to properly utilize Agile, deal teams must implement project management softwares that provide transparency, centralized communications and organize priorities. The days of organizing and tracking critical information on Excel and communicating with clients, buyers and internal team members over long email chains must end.
Advantages of M&A Management Software
M&A project management and deal management software eliminates the tedious practices analysts and associates often engage in when performing deals.
M&A management software eliminates tasks such as
organizing diligence documents on Excel trackers
shifting through long email threads in order to communicate with buyers and clients
using multiple platforms to store and share data
Instead, M&A project management software provides advantageous benefits such as
Workflow Delegation. M&A project management software ensures that everyone is aware of their own individual responsibilities, when someone else is spearheading a task, and where additional help is needed. This prevents gaps in the workflow and duplicate work, and encourages collaboration when needed.
Secure File and Document Sharing. Finally be able to upload files, share documents, and have organized dialogue all in one secure place. M&A software tools provides a one-stop-shop to share and transfer files and documents in a safe way. It also enables quick feedback.
Internal and Deal Management. You can manage internal work, as well as multiple deals at a time. For example, pipeline features keep each deal separate and organized. Each deal can have its own separate room, where teams can create a staging folder, complete due diligence, fulfill buyer requests, store data, and anything else you need to do during the deal’s lifecycle.
However, M&A project management can help complete due diligence up to 40% faster.
One of the more difficult problems faced during due diligence is that deal teams are forced to use softwares and online m&a platforms that are not well designed for aspects of M&A.
For example, virtual data rooms are a great place to collect, host, and share files and documents. However, that is where data room capabilities end. Team members must therefore use other platforms to complete diligence. This adds to the places in which work is being done and further dilutes communications and task management.
If that seems illogical, it’s because it is. That’s why, M&A needs a project and property management software designed specifically to conduct all aspects of a deal.
Software designed for M&A provides a central location to manage resources, tasks, requests, deadlines, projects, and communication in M&A projects.
Updates are made in real-time, allowing you to share the most up-to-date information. Since all the information is centralized, users can run detailed analytic reports that track deal progression, gage buyer interest and aid integration. Such platforms also enable deal teams to identify bottlenecks early, giving users a competitive advantage.
Asset management M&A software, like DealRoom, also saves users thousands of dollars. Instead of paying per page for necessary data room functions, M&A project management software includes a secure data room, and only charges a flat-rate.
How M&A Management Software Benefits Every Deal Stage
1. Due Diligence
The quickest way to start using project management software for due diligence, is by importing a pre-made request template. By importing a pre-made template, the data room and folder structure is automatically populated and organized. From there, users can start fulfilling requests using drag and drop upload. They can also assign task roles, communicate with other users, and invite new users to the room.
When teams use M&A project management software for due diligence, over traditional data rooms, it allows them to assign roles. For example, investment banks can assign the analyst, associate, and vice president on a deal to their specific roles. They can also request documents, files, and information from their clients and additional third parties.
During diligence, teams gather and collect every little detail about the company. Information collected during diligence, that is crucial for a successful integration, can be accessed after the deal is complete. The knowledge transfer allows everyone to see the big picture early on. Teams can plan for post-merger integration early by having real-time visibility to enable strategic problem solving and identify synergies. This helps teams with visioning, shaping, and transforming, all crucial to a successful PMI process.
3. Internal Management
Not only is deal management important, but so is internal management. And at the end of the day, the more efficient your internal process is, the more effective your company can be to its end users. With project management, teams can store, access, and share internal documents and tasks. They can also use project management software to assign roles and set deadlines, allowing for visibility and accountability.
4. Pipeline management
M&A project management software can be used for different stages of the deal, such as sourcing, or even just pipeline management. The goal is to keep teams organized for internal and external processes. Pipeline management allows deal teams to track multiple deals in a visually simple and easy-to-navigate way. Pipelines are typically displayed in dashboard form and include deal specifics for varying stages, all on one page.