Step 10: Execute Detailed M&A 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 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 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

Synergy Tracking Report

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

Overall M&A Integration Scorecard

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

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 Resume
When evaluating alternatives, always consider the numbers.
Exploit Instability
When it comes to categorizing organizational change, mergers stand as the seismic event. Nothing else even comes close. Not even bankruptcy.
The Top 5 Priorities
Activities that don't directly contribute to these five objectives are likely to be off target and a poor investment of time and energy.
5 post merger costs
Post-merger integration costs (not itemized on any financial statement) that can threaten the success of a deal
What Is the Single Best Predictor of a Successful Merger Integration?
The answer may surprise you.
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.

Day 1 M&A Playbook: Employee Communications
Day 1 M&A Playbook: Employee Communications - $1.6 Billion Acquisition

Easy to customize Word document that includes answers to FAQs, communication guidelines, and important talking points and messages.


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

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