Step 10: Execute Acquisition Integration Plans (Includes Day 1 Plans)

Executing an acquisition integration plan is certainly one of the most difficult assignments one can face in the corporate world. Anybody who has led the implementation of a large information system or the relocation of a facility knows how many headaches can be associated with those sorts of challenges. But leading an acquisition integration involves all the problems of those projects plus an even longer list of management demands. In addition, all of these challenges must be handled in an environment characterized by complex, high-pressure conditions.

Because the convergence of these challenges occurs in a different environment than normally exists for managers, different approaches are required. Managing a merger, regardless of size, is distinctly different from managing an ongoing operation. The first step one can take toward being an effective M&A integration manager is to understand what acquisitions represent in the life cycle of an organization. As a method of corporate growth, they are revolutionary rather than evolutionary. And it is important to recognize that uncommon growth calls for uncommon solutions. This often means managing the transition in a fashion that seems different from day-to-day operational norms.

Many companies make the common mistake during their acquisition integrations of trying to improve things ... just to improve them. These acquirers fail to ruthlessly prioritize and as a result, they tackle too much simultaneously. This can lead to a sense of chaos and confusion that confuses people and leaves them unsure of what to do next. The key is to figure out the critical value drivers of a deal and stay focused on those “critical few” without being distracted by the “screaming many.”

Particularly during the early stages of an acquisition, it’s a priority to produce financial synergies. That speaks volumes to the workforce, because for a lot of those people, the jury will still be out regarding whether it’s a good merger or a bad one. If the company’s financial condition begins to deteriorate, employees typically point to that as hard evidence that something about the merger was bad to begin with or is beginning to go sour.

In this section, we provide integration playbooks and presentations that cover the keys to successful prioritization, the required implementation deliverables, and the integration reporting process. Plus, the slides from our Merger Integration Certification Workshop cover best practices in synergy program management.

We also provide various integration status templates to report synergies and milestones achieved to date, activities to be completed, and unresolved problems.

Free Access

Engineer Early Success in Your Merger
Quick-wins help soften resistance and build momentum.
Bold Strokes
Acquisition integration calls for uncommon moves and a rejection of status quo management.
Merger Integration Project Management
The integration process, project structure, and challenges.
Put Dollar signs on Your M&A Decisions
When evaluating alternatives, always consider the numbers.
The Power of Opening Moves
How you begin the integration carries heavy influence over how you'll finish.
Exploit Instability
When it comes to categorizing organizational change, mergers stand as the seismic event. Nothing else even comes close. Not even bankruptcy.
5 Guidelines for Setting M&A Priorities
Activities that don't directly contribute to these five priorities are likely to be off target and a poor investment of time and energy.
10 Steps on How to Overcome Resistance in M&A
Management cannot keep everyone happy. But a number of things can be done to overcome some of the resistance
How Much Resistance to Change is  Normal?
In mergers & acquisitions, romancing the resisters holds little promise.
Push Through The Yield Point
Opposition surfaces as soon as the integration process gets underway.

Synergy Tracking Report

Examples of overhead cost and synergy projections, and synergy tracking report (by type, work stream, and risk)

Steering Committee Integration Dashboard

The steps to create an integration scorecard and the categories to cover, plus an example

M&A Integration Playbook - $20 Billion Acquisition
M&A Integration Playbook - $20 Billion Acquisition
Free Sample

61-page playbook specifies over 900 integration tasks for the following work streams:

  • Finance
  • Information Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Corporate
  • Operations
  • Legal

Playbook also provides links to additional files regarding pre-close rules of engagement, steering committee kick off presentation, Day 1 communications, and IMO tools.

Day 1 M&A Playbook: Customer Communications
Day 1 M&A Playbook: Customer Communications - $1.6 Billion Acquisition
Free Sample

Easily customized Word document that includes answers to FAQs, sample letters to customers, and critical talking points and messages.

Day -1- Employee Comm-thumbnail
Day 1 M&A Playbook: Employee Communications - $1.6 Billion Acquisition
Free Sample

Sixteen page document that includes answers to seventy-five employee FAQs, plus communication guidelines, and important talking points and messages.

Contents Page
Communication Guidance 3
Key Messages for Employee 4
Employee Talking Points 5
Employee FAQs 7
Integration Approach 10
Impact on Operations 11
Compensation, Benefits, and Incentives 13
Sales Professionals FAQ 15
Question Specific to New Employees 16