Complex, Political, Emotional, and Very Busy – Very Busy 

 May 15, 2022

By  Steve Nunn

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This is part 4 of a series of 4 discussions on the intensity that is associated with acquisition integrations.

Integration success is not assured. As you may know, the failure rate of acquisitions (including the integration) is around 70%, for many reasons. Integrations are not easy. They are messy: complex, political, emotional, and very busy. You need as much help as possible from both the acquiring and acquired businesses to successfully achieve the reasons for acquiring.

A small integration will have 200 to 1000 tasks/projects

How can there be so many tasks?

Let’s consider a small business integration. It may have as few as 5 workstreams, say Finance, IT, HR, Sales, R&D, Marketing

Each of these may have 8 to 12 areas to address, for example Finance may have Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, forecasting, financial statement, financial software applications, tax, compliance, external audit, internal audit, procurement, contracts, price book and cost centers.

Each area my have 3 to 5 tasks, which can easily exceed 50 tasks/projects for this one workstream.

How do you prioritize?

Prioritizing tasks is extremely important. There are a few factors, of which the most important are

What is the importance of the task?

When a business is acquired, there are legal requirements that must be adhered to, for example compliance in an industry, bank account control, or interim health and safety policy (until a unified policy is adopted). These are often tackled on Day 1, or as soon as possible after a transaction is completed.

Another source of importance is if something is critical to the business, for example payroll, invoicing and client relations.

What do I need (depend upon) for a task to be started?

We have talked about dependencies in an earlier blog. It is worth re-stating that an integration is re-organizing every department in a business at the same time. Everyone is going through some level of chaos. Your tasks are often dependent upon another team delivering something.

It might be important to complete a project, for example creating an updated list of products that the Sales team can now sell. However, this may depend upon new product training, revised marketing material, revised bulk discounting policy, eCommerce setup etc.

If you need guidance on how to develop your integration tasklists, organize and prioritize them, contact us.


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