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.
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 to 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.
Before defining M&A project management software, we should look at the meaning of project management.
In any deal there are a lot of necessary steps to take, whether buy-side or sell-side, whether it involves an investment bank, private equity firm, or corporate development business. 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 project organization and communication. But not anymore.
After decades of managing deals with outmoded forms of technology and practices, project management software has finally made its way to the M&A industry. M&A teams are now able to centralize communication, organize workflow, and track progress on one platform. M&A project management software is bringing M&A processes into the 21st century.
M&A project 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.
The list above is not just a list of fancy features. This is a list of new techniques that are changing the way due diligence 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 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.
M&A project management software eliminates the tedious practices analysts and associates often engage in when performing deals. Tasks such as organizing diligence documents on excel trackers, shifting through long email threads in order to communicate with buyers and clients and using multiple platforms to store and share data are not tasks that should continue in the modern, fast-moving marketplace. Completing work through these inefficient forums can greatly impede on closing deals quickly and successfully.
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 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 management software designed specifically to conduct all aspects of a deal.
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.
M&A project management software, like DealRoom, also save users thousands of dollars. Instead of paying per page for necessary data room functions, project management software include a secure data room, and only charge a flat-rate.