Post-merger Integration: Tips for Prioritizing Goals and Milestones
Starting to formulate a plan to map out post-merger integration goals and milestones can be a daunting task at first. Here are a few tips to help.
29 August 2016
Starting to formulate a plan to map out post-merger integration goals and milestones can be a daunting task at first. While synergy achievement and value creation are the holistic motivators for executing a transaction, integration teams need to adopt a measured approach as to when those milestones are achieved.
Once the deal is closed, the first focus is on stabilization. The first 100 days should be dedicated to achieving some semblance of normalcy. This is a period of uncertainty for all constituents impacted by the deal (for both the acquirer and the target) — which includes employees, shareholders and customers.
Based on conversations with experts in the field of post-merger integration (PMI), as well as corporate practitioners, we’ve heard that the following tips can have a material impact in terms of prioritizing goals and milestones:
- Avoid undertaking major initiatives that aren’t necessarily strategic too quickly as doing so can result in unmet expectations. For instance, combining email or other internal systems can disrupt day-to-day business operations. The easier solution might be to allow these systems to operate independently until the needed resources are available and the determination has been made that consolidating down to a single email system makes the most strategic sense.
- Ensure that the 100 day stabilization plan — as well as the longer-term plan for optimization –aligns with drivers that motivate the deal in the first place. Whether the goal was geographic expansion, talent acquisition, or adding new products or services, these drivers should serve as guideposts for setting post-deal priorities.
- Achieve some ‘quick wins’ on the integration plan. Early wins not only build confidence with key stakeholders that synergies are being met, but they can also serve to boost morale for employees and other stakeholders.
Setting a clear set of priorities based on some of the practices outlined above early on in the process is key. Then, communicating those priorities to the entire integration team as the deal progresses through the PMI stage will help you check off the boxes that are most important to a successful integration process.