Negotiations are complete, and a deal has been agreed. Once a merger and acquisition is underway it’s time to embark on a post-merger integration (PMI) project.
PMI is the process of combining the socio-technical systems of the organisations involved in the M&A. Both technology and social infrastructures need to be integrated – and how this happens can vary widely.
However, our approach is always ‘people first’.
Start with people
Some PMI projects put all the focus on the merging of technologies. The problem with this is that you need the buy-in of both buy-side and target-side businesses to make the integration a successful one.
Both sides need to be open about how they operate and willing to embrace change. But your IT teams are likely to be worried about job security and how the merger is going to affect them. They may not be keen to reveal their internal IT practices.
That’s why you need to start with people rather than technology. Gaining the buy-in from your IT teams is essential to delivering the best possible PMI. Not least because IT due diligence is a fundamental part of any PMI project and you’re relying on your technology teams to disclose key information about the systems they manage.
Do your due diligence
Technology systems and services must be fully discovered and understood before you can begin to plan integration. The time you invest in initial due diligence will pay dividends in the later stages of the project.
Of course, this isn’t always an easy matter as many technology environments have grown organically over many years. It’s not simple to uncover and document everything in a few weeks.
A good relationship between teams from both sides of the merger is invaluable in these early stages of due diligence, and it’s a good time to build trust. The more information that’s shared, the smoother the integration process.
Bring in a leader
To promote a harmonious relationship between teams, it helps to have a strong leader. A fundamental aspect of any PMI project is to convince people from different organisations (with different company cultures) to makes changes.
Guidelines need to be established and deadlines set. If you have a strong person implementing your PMI strategy, your teams will feel more secure about how the integration will work and the part they have been asked to play in it.
Your leader also needs to be able to convince board members as well as IT staff of the soundness of their strategy. PMI is all about making informed decision on how changes should be made.
Overcome your differences
In short, post-merger integration is about more than just merging two IT systems. It’s about inspiring teams to work together to overcome cultural and technological differences to create a new, efficient and improved environment.
Therefore, the first phase of your PMI project should focus on your people, and the technology-specific challenges they face. The next phase is to look at the processes that will enable delivery.
By taking this approach, you’ll ensure a smoother transition that paves the way for your new post-integration IT structure.
Plan for PMI success
If you’d like to know how to prepare your teams and systems for post-merger integration success and gain maximum value from your IT, contact us for a friendly discussion regarding your particular business needs on 0800 622 6719.