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

Post-Merger Termination and Survivor Meetings
Post-Merger Termination and Survivor Meetings
16 Slides


  • Communications for April/May
  • Termination Impact Matrix
  • Business Rationale for Termination Actions
  • WARN Act (Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act) – Fresno only
  • Previous Severance Packages
  • Current Severance Packages
  • Termination/Survivor Meetings by Site
  • Email Invitations to Meetings
  • Support Materials for Conducting Termination/Survivor Meetings
  • Separation Package Contents
  • Site Meetings to Follow Earnings Call
  • Script for Conducting “Keepers” Meeting

Business Rationale for Termination Actions

  • During a recent two-day meeting, our Executive Team reviewed our customers, competitors, product portfolio, market opportunities, sales forecasts, and costs.
  • In general, our business is in good shape and growing, despite some very difficult market conditions. We continue to be a market leader. We are convinced that the merger has helped us maintain this leadership position in our highly competitive market.  However, to remain in alignment with our forecasts for the year, it is imperative that we cut operating costs by April 30th.
  • To determine where to make these cuts, we reprioritized our list of projects/programs and then assessed the resources assigned to each. We also assessed the support resources required to run the business. As a result of this analysis, we were able to identify reductions that could be taken without significantly impacting our highest priority projects/programs.
  • The reductions will be limited to three sites: Fresno, Oakland, and Norfolk.
  • While we regret the negative impact this decision will have on some individuals and teams, we are convinced it is the right decision for the business. 
  • The reductions being taken on Friday, April 26 th are the only ones planned at this time, but we will continuously re-evaluate our business and may make additional adjustments in the future, if required ...  
M&A Integration Playbook - $20 Billion Acquisition
M&A Integration Playbook - $20 Billion Acquisition

The free sample pdf is an excerpt from the playbook. The full unredacted playbook in Excel is available to
Merger Integration Certification Workshop attendees and subscribers.

The 61-page M&A integration playbook specifies over 900 integration tasks for the following work streams:

Finance: Treasury | SAP Integration | Financial Close | Operational Reporting | Financial Reporting | Tax | Inventory Accounting | Acquisition Process | Investor Relations | Synergy Tracking | Organization Design

Information Technology: Infrastructure | IT Integration Program | Day 1 | HR | Legal | Corporate | Organizational Structure | Finance

Human Resources: Compensation | Retention | Deferred Comp | Long Term Incentive Plan | Severance | Gainsharing | Health & Rx | Dental | EAP | COBRA | Life | Com Plan | HSA | LTD | STD |401k | Pension | LOA | Com Day 1 | Com Day 2 | Drug Testing | Recruiting | Data Conversion | Payroll Timekeeping | Org Structure | Immigration | Workers Comp. | Training & Development | Compliance | Safety | Policies | Labor Relations | IT Help Desk | Educ. Assistance | Travel & Expense

Corporate: Day 1 - Employee Communications | Day 1 - Corporate | Day 1 – Safety | Corporate Giving | Communications ...


The free sample pdf is an excerpt from the playbook. The full unredacted playbook in Excel is available to Merger Integration Certification Workshop attendees and subscribers.