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M&A Integration Playbooks
An M&A Integration Playbook is a project management tool that enables strategic corporate acquirers to systematically plan and deliver deals post-closing. Consider it to be a “toolbox” that contains relevant sections that can be selected to address the issues of a particular acquisition.
A Project Management Tool
Although integration plans are never the same, due to differing risks, issues, and scenarios, using a playbook will enable acquirers to provide a focused and relevant set of actions plans. There is no need to “reinvent the wheel” for each transaction. Instead, take advantage of the prior knowledge that has been assembled into a readily available guide. Also, playbook tools continually evolve as new issues and required actions become apparent in different deals, and these actions should be captured for the benefit of future integration plans.
As with any project, similar to other projects that have been completed, one should not start with a blank piece of paper. Instead, the knowledge gained from previous projects should be applied to the current situation. A playbook serves as a detailed “how to” guide for the integration team, providing the structure to ensure that the appropriate actions are taken in order to realize the value drivers behind a deal.
To ensure deal success, the playbook outlines how everyone involved in the integration effort fits into the bigger picture. This structure is essential for providing clear and effective communications with all integration stakeholders.
Integration Playbooks, typically 30-50 pages, may be presented in different variants from ones designed for supporting executive oversight to ones with the tactical details and templates needed by project team members. Below is a general outline of contents representative of some of the elements found in a playbook:
- Guiding Principles
- Key Success Factors
- Synergy Overview
- Cultural Issue Awareness
- Measurement and Feedback
- Organization Structure
- The Steering Committee
- Acquisition Integration Team
- Integration Executive Lead
- M&A Integration Manager
- Functional Integration Team
- Cross-Functional Sub-Teams
- Integration Strategy during Due Diligence
- Integration Planning
- Execution: Integration Management during Stabilization (100 Days)
- Regulatory Agencies
- General Public
Standardize The Methodology For Deal Success
The creation of an acquisition playbook enables the deployment of a repeatable methodology that will provide for the delivery of far more successful integrations than the development of a series of disconnected and unplanned activities for each deal. Although no two deal scenarios will be the same, each transaction playbook, developed from a comprehensive and flexible project management tool, will be tailored to the specifics of that deal.