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Getting the most value out of an acquisition requires harvesting the best of both companies for long-term value and speed of integration. At the core of any integration is the goal of companies operating together as one. One of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive steps is combining both companies’ systems and data into a single streamlined IT environment.

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused nearly all businesses across the country to transition to remote work. Our IT integration teams and clients moved to a work from-home-model, which was a significant change that threatened all integration timelines. The teams were accustomed to working in large conference rooms and walking down the hall into managers’ offices to get issues resolved. We all had to pivot to a new work environment overnight.

The 2020 pandemic had the potential to thwart several of our client’s plans to achieve their integration goals. The right combination of people, project management tools, and governance processes were required to stay the course and achieve synergy goals.

People, Communication, & Project Management

Working in our favor, the joint Trenegy and client IT integration teams already implemented strong project management practices. The teams were using tools to communicate remotely since they were working across multiple client offices prior to the office shutdown. Furthermore, the scarcity of specialized resources required a few of the out-of-town technical resources to work remotely.

The teams immediately scheduled twice-daily check-ins for each of the team leads using Microsoft Teams video calls. Having the twice-daily calls let everyone know how important the integration work was to the client staff involved and helped keep lines of communication open.

The project and task activities were managed in Asana where anyone could see who was working on what, what was behind schedule, and what was completed. Asana also automated the status reporting process. From the start, we minimized time spent updating PowerPoint status reports and focused on getting real work done. The integration teams relied heavily on Microsoft Teams chat for online communication via their laptops or smartphones. We could see who was available for a meeting and when people were busy. Microsoft OneNote was used to track issues and open items.

Governance Processes

In addition to the project management leading practices, we worked with our clients to establish a well understood IT governance process to keep the integration scope under control. A key component of establishing the governance structure is mutual trust and open lines of communications between IT, operations, and finance.  At the same time, our Trenegy team had to remain flexible and stand ready to pick up any work that fell through the cracks. Rapid problem-solving techniques were used to make sure issues did not cause integration delays.

Another contributing factor to our clients’ integration success was gaining quick wins with an early integration of the systems with a smaller footprint. This also gave the IT integration team a cadence and governance model for going live with future systems.

Our client integration projects were completed on time and within budget. Looking forward, we are equipped to help any organization with an acquisition whether in person or remote. To learn more about how Trenegy can help your organization with an upcoming acquisition, email us at info@trenegy.com.

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