In M&A it is crucial to not devalue the worth of the deal. It is therefore important to take time to plan and build your processes. From my experience, the most frequent issues are related to people – how they react to changes and their reluctance to change and how they react when something doesn’t work as planned.

We assist our clients in setting up the system that will allow them to identify potential issues early and quickly respond. It could be, for example, having weekly meetings in which the IMO and functional work streams evaluate progress against the plan, and raise issues and risks to SteerCo.

Once the procedure for solving issues is established, it is important to concentrate on implementation. It is crucial to ensure that the team members know what they’re expected to do, how they will be evaluated, and when. Also, it should clearly state accountability (i.e., ownership of the final results) and the authority to make decisions for the entire company.

It’s essential to ensure that the CEO as well as senior management can devote at minimum 90 percent of their time focusing on core business concerns and not get distracted by integration activities. It is an ideal idea to select one person to head the Decision Management Office and coordinate work streams. This could be a person from the acquired organization, or it can be a rising star within the merged company who has the backing of their boss who is willing to make this commitment.