Every integration needs to end. Managing the End-State Transition can be just as important as managing the rest of the integration.

What is End-State?

The point in the integration when the:

  • Bulk of planned integration activities have already been accomplished
  • IMO processes can be ramped down and dedicated IMO personnel scaled back or redeployed
  • Remaining open integration work streams and issues can be transitioned to a normal operation’s function

How to hand off remaining activities:

  • Document deadlines and deliverables associated with the remaining open items
  • Provide access to all documentation on the project
  • Provide a list of all contacts and stakeholders involved in the project
  • Provide a full understanding of what has to be done, by when, and by whom.
  • Make sure people have an understanding of the negative implications if the remaining tasks get delayed

If end-state handoffs are not processed properly, the IMO often gets blamed. Don’t let poor end-state planning ruin an otherwise well-executed integration.

Best Practices

  • Define end state for each function prior to plan development
  • Run the integration as a separate project, apart from day-to-day operations
  • Develop formal end-state transition process with clear roles and responsibilities
  • Determine deliverables associated with remaining open items
  • Communicate what open items have to be done, by when, and by whom
  • Document the handoffs of open items to normal operation’s functional leads


Slide titles:



Post Acquisition Integration Process: The End-State Transition

Major Mistake: No End-State Transition

Macro Phases and End-State

End-State Roles & Responsibilities

End-State Log (Example)