M&A Integration Team Structure

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the typical team structure for an M&A integration?

  1. A Steering Committee
  2. An Integration Management Office (IMO) led by an Integration Manager
  3. A variety of additional teams organized by function (i.e. sales, human resources, finance, and information technology, etc.) and/or by business unit, product line, process, or geographic location.

The various integration teams take their marching orders from the IMO. The IMO is ultimately accountable to the steering committee.

From Mergers & Acquisitions Team Structure.


What is integration governance?

Governance is the set of rules and procedures on decision making, control, and reporting for an integration.  A clear hierarchy of teams with well-defined roles and decision-making protocols facilitates effective governance.


Who is on the integration steering committee and what is its role?

The steering committee, comprised of C-level executives, provides direction, guidance and oversight, approves plans, prioritizes initiatives, and makes decision whenever an impasse is reached at the lower levels of the integration hierarchy.


What is an Integration Management Office (IMO)?

The Integration Management Office (IMO) is the real workhorse responsible for driving the integration forward and keeping good project-management discipline in place. This team’s purpose is to provide the guidance and day-to-day decision making that will allow the integration process to move forward on a timely basis. This group also should include members of both organizations. A fairly balanced representation generally fosters better buy-in from the people in the two organizations while also improving the odds that plans for integration can be implemented effectively.

From IMO Charter.


What is the role of the Integration Manager?

The Integration Manager leads the IMO, escalates issues up chain of command for resolution, educates teams on the integration processes, balance and coordinates work across teams, and hold team members’ feet to the fire on deadlines.


What are the seven key attributes an Integration Manager should have?

  1. Project management skills
  2. Power, authority, and credibility
  3. Social intelligence
  4. Tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty
  5. Sense of urgency
  6. Strength of personality
  7. High energy level

From How to Select a Leader for your IMO.


How much time should integration team members dedicate to an integration?

This depends on the size, complexity, extent of the integration, the timeline, the goals, and operating differences between the companies.  Given those factors, which can vary a lot from deal to deal, functional leads will usually need to spend 20% to 100% of their time on the integration to be effective.  Typically, the integration manager should dedicate 100% of his/her time. There is usually just too much going on for a part-time player to handle this role well.


When should you invite the target to participate in planning?

After the acquirer’s executive team agrees on key integration goals, strategy, priorities, and non-negotiables, the target company can be invited to participate in planning. Of course, if a deal is subject to regulatory approval, that could limit the target’s involvement before close.


What is an M&A integration team charter?

A charter specifies the baseline expectations on the goals, timeline, and priorities for each integration team. It should be developed prior to beginning detailed work plan development.


When should M&A integration teams be disbanded?

When a team's end state is reached, the integration teams should hand off any remaining integration tasks to the business line leaders. Then, the team members can be redeployed back into the business full time. It is not a good use of their time for them to be engaged during the long tail of the integration.

From The End State Transition.