Mergers and acquisitions are exciting times for a company. However, when not managed properly, they can produce more problems than benefits. A project management office (PMO) can take a leading role in integrating a new organization into your company while also making sure that projects from both businesses continue to run smoothly. PMO advisory during M&As is essential. Consider four best practices that PMOs should employ during M&As.
4 PMO Best Practices to Use During Mergers and Acquisitions
1. Separate Internal and External Projects
Both businesses in a merger or acquisition likely already have several external projects underway. External projects are customer-facing activities: new products or services, customer support projects, or sales and marketing initiatives. However, M&As also call for new internal projects. You have to integrate filesystems, unify the software that teams from both companies will use, and bring your new staff together. The PMO needs to keep external projects running while organizing internal projects to solidify the new company.
Consider creating teams with members from both organizations for internal projects. This minimizes the potential for resentment from team members of the company that’s been absorbed. It also eases fears of massive layoffs after a merger. Keep external project leads in place to avoid disruption. However, you may want to add a few experts from the recently acquired company to provide a fresh perspective and leverage their knowledge of the market.
2. Focus on Change Management
M&As mean change for everyone. Unfortunately, most workers are resistant to change. When people become proficient with your company’s processes, they worry that change will affect their performance or possibly add to their workload. It’s important to manage these changes and communicate clearly to everyone in the organization. Help people understand what changes will take place, when they will occur, and the benefits that will come from them.
The more you can get teams involved in change, the better the results. Set up pilot groups for testing so that you can get employee feedback. Listen to complaints and take suggestions into consideration. Allocate time to make adjustments to new processes; don’t expect to redesign everything perfectly on paper on your first attempt.
3. Adjust Deadlines and Stay Vigilant
Speaking of time, you may need to adjust project deadlines across the board. M&As are complex and can create unforeseen challenges for both internal and external projects. Trying to impose original deadlines may only lead to frustration. It’s important to keep expectations realistic.
Monitor project progress more frequently during M&As than you normally would. New problems can arise quickly, so it’s vital that you stay in communication with project leads and immediately address any issues that appear.
4. Call for Additional PMO Advisory
Your existing PMO team may not be large enough to handle the extra demand brought on by your merger or acquisition. If your PMO is at capacity and is struggling to keep up with the additional tasks at hand, consider bringing in expert assistance. PMO consultants can help you stay on schedule and streamline the integration of both teams.
Contact Project Genetics to speak to PMO professionals and learn more about how we can help your M&As stay on track.