Merger Integration Playbooks


An unprepared or overconfident acquirer can get lucky and succeed at one deal the same way a bad poker player can sometimes win a hand.

It takes more than good fortune to efficiently and successfully integrate acquired companies time after time. That kind of consistency requires repeatable, flexible, step-by-step processes.

Playbooks developed by PRITCHETT provide clarity on these processes. Without clarity, integrations teams tend to shift into neutral and operate with a lower degree of intensity. But with it, they move forward with confidence, purpose, and speed.


Serial acquirers should document and follow proven M&A integration processes so they can achieve excellent results over, and over, and over again.


Alignment Process

Meeting(s) are conducted that facilitate executive front-end agreement (preferably at least 90 days pre-close) on integration strategy, objectives, success metrics, and non-negotiables. Areas of disagreement are resolved early. Senior managers do not operate with different information, make different assumptions, and draw different conclusions.


Guiding Principle Process

Overarching principles about the integration are defined by executives in areas such as speed, communication, culture, and methodology. Integration teams are empowered to make decisions consistent with the principles and therefore make progress with less oversight.

Target Operating Model Definition

The criteria that must be met for the integration to be considered complete is determined. Teams know where the finish line is and can begin planning on how to get there.

Reporting Process

Teams produce reports in consistent formats so information can be easily rolled up. Project visibility enables the IMO to hold people accountable and track progress.

Synergy Program Management Process

Synergy work streams are marked high priority and assigned to owners. The deal's benefits are highlighted, tracked, and achieved

Communications Process

Frequent, accurate information is sent to stakeholders through various channels. People do not feel marginalized, left out of the information loop.

Risk and Issue Management Process

Risks and issues are monitored. Serious problems are either pre- vented or their negative impact mitigated.

Culture Assessment Process

The target’s unwritten rules are revealed. Cultural differences that could harm operating performance are identified. The acquirer knows where the land mines are located.

Retention Process

Critical talent is identified and re-recruited. Hard to replace employees do not walk out the door.

Lessons Learned Process

Teams systematically debrief to refine their approach and capture lessons learned. Hard-won wisdom is not lost. Mistakes are not repeated.

PRITCHETT customized playbooks help integration teams follow the same processes, use the same tools, and operate under a common framework. Consequently, they accomplish more with less effort. Their performance is excellent ... predictably so.

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