The best M&A technology plan isn’t really a technology plan at all. It’s a comprehensive business integration plan, owned and driven by a seasoned integration program manager with experience in systems integration, data conversion, and organizational change management. Failure to pull the technology, data, business process and organization integration workstreams into a single plan is a surefire recipe for integration delay or failure.
The benefits of a unified business integration plan include:
- Easier recognition of schedule and resource conflicts that cut across the workstreams.
- More agility in replanning the entire body of work when milestones in any single area are missed.
- Better insight into interdependencies in the plan.
- More effective use of team time, since there is a single status meeting to cover all workstreams.
A key to success with the unified plan is to write this master plan at the correct level of detail. The unified plan should not contain detailed tasks and action items, but it needs to provide enough detail for meaningful tracking. Supporting tools, such as detailed project plans and Excel tracking workbooks can and should be used within a particular working group to manage all the moving parts.