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Mergers & Acquisitions Integration Handbook: Helping Companies Realize The Full Value of Acquisitions by Scott C. Whitaker

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CHAPTER 9

Planning Your Integration’s End State

In this chapter, you will learn the following:

  • How to define the end state for your integration.
  • The end state process and steps required to officially wrap up your integration.
  • Tips and strategies to make sure you finish well.

Every integration needs to have an end. Planning for your end state is just as important as planning the integration itself. One of the most important activities you can do early to make the end state a fairly simple activity is to clearly scope out at the beginning of the integration what your end state is.

Pre-planning is the ideal time to decide on a recommended time frame for the bulk of integration activities. The recommended time frame for most integration activities is 90 to 120 days.

Of course, some work streams will get done early, and some (like IT systems integrations) may take as long as 12 to 24 months before they are technically finished.

For the purposes of integration planning, the end state can be defined as follows:

  • The point in the integration at which most of the planned integration activities are accomplished.
  • The transition point, when the IMO processes can be ramped down and dedicated IMO personnel scaled back or redeployed.
  • The point at which the remaining open integration work streams and issues can be transitioned to functional teams.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN AN INTEGRATION IS FINISHED

End state is an extremely difficult concept to grasp for most integration managers, since work streams ...

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