Firstly, what is a Merger and Acquisition? As the name itself implies, when two different organizations merge the processes, tools, technologies as a result of one company buying the other, you get into an Merger and Acquisition situation(M&A)
An M&A itself implies complexity, challenges both culturally and technically. Merger and Acquisition raises many questions, anxiety among people. On the top of it; the employees are expected to complete certain tasks in the most stressful way. The leadership/management if they keep the following in mind, the programs can definitely run in a much smoother and efficient way.
Don’t neglect planning phase
This is a common pitfall among most Merger and Acquisitions. Leadership is so eager to complete the migrations so they are able to start the product/features in the marketplace as quickly possible and create business benefits. So to speed up the migration of the projects and integrate both companies as quickly as possible, they neglect the planning phase in a way that they almost eliminate planning phase.
A fixed schedule does not always mean a greater ROI.
Having a fixed schedule has become a common trend among companies to think that it will give a measure of greater return on investment. Now, in the current world, it is true that time is equal to money. However, if you are investing more time to patch up what you broke or missed during your project migration, you end up spending more than average compared to following a traditional project management process. For example, you estimate 9 months on a program to migrate with exempting certain phases or tasks vs 12 months on using a traditional project management process and you end up spending 5 more months fixing the broken pieces or finishing up the pending tasks, then, you are essentially 2 months behind schedule. So, leadership needs to watch out what they are spending without planning vs what they are with proper planning.
Ensure the company culture is preserved
These days, attrition has become very high in almost all organizations and that does not seem to bother the leadership like it used to. It is not important anymore because replacements have become very easy and quick, ramping up a new resource has also become easy. Yet again, what goes under the rug is the culture loss; a resource loss is just not a one person loss, it is a brand name loss, a culture loss and a stain on the company’s future. Especially in the case of a merger, it is all the more important to preserve and also meticulously manage cultures of both organizations until the transition is complete.
Cutting corners is not an efficient way.
Cutting corners really meant trying to pass through humps temporarily, basically adopting short term quick fix and then moving along. Skipping tasks, fast tracking tasks, overloading resources, compromising quality, all of these happen very easily and quickly on such poorly planned fixed schedule driven merger and acquisition projects. So, avoid as much possible to cut certain important tasks, again, you will end up using more time and money on fixing the mess you just created by employing short cuts. Because they are not going to last long. The operations and business will be unhappy in the long run because you will end up with more support defects than ever before.
Hope, the leadership will exercise care to avoid the top four mistakes outlined in this article. While there are other easy to make mistakes in such a situation, these four do sum it up and also what can be done to avoid those pitfalls.