Leveraging Program Management Methodology Rigor During Merger Integration Activities

Centric’s strategic focus and program leadership expertise helps a client navigate a complex merger.

The Business Need

Our client, a $17B retail organization, was in the process of merging with one of their competitors when Centric was engaged. At the time, there were many questions and open decisions related to the merger. The client had not determined the headquarters location, had not named the CEO and had not made any decisions on lower-level leadership reporting structures. These pending changes and delayed decisions, even after the merger close date, led to duplicate merger integration and business efforts in two locations. With key people resigning and morale suffering, the environment worsened once decisions were announced regarding headquarters location and leadership organizational structure.

Our client’s team was inexperienced in leading a merger of this scope and size. They clearly needed help. The integration and ongoing, large-enterprise efforts involved subject matter experts (SMEs) and team leaders that were spread across several business units. Further complicating efforts, a strategy consulting firm had delivered overwhelming amounts of documentation and content to the client which were not actionable enough for integration execution in terms of process, organization or technology implications.

Our client needed a partner who understood large merger implementations and the corresponding organizational change. They needed a partner who could ultimately help them navigate through the complexities of integration planning and execution activities.

Centric’s High-Impact Approach

We were engaged to lead the merger execution efforts in a few key areas of the program, providing overall program management leadership and expertise. In addition, the client’s Integration Management Office (IMO) sought our guidance in shaping and institutionalizing their governance structure, thus ensuring a successful strategy for merger integration execution. Specifically, we were able to make significant impact in the following ways:

  • Refined high-level merger integration roadmaps into robust and actionable execution work plans. Our team quickly synthesized cumbersome integration plans and developed detailed, comprehensive work plans that encompassed all facets of complex merger integration programs: people/organization, process and technology components. Our project plans became the foundation and blueprint for all merger project teams to utilize during execution.
  • Communicated important execution dashboard elements to VP-level clients to sharpen their focus, save time and make early informed decisions.
  • Provided client executive leadership with strong advisory counsel regarding Organizational Change Management strategy (Org Design, Communication, Training, etc.).
  • Contributed significantly to Global Sourcing process transformation work. By the conclusion of the project, we had documented several dozen Global Sourcing processes which far exceeded our client’s target.

The Results

We brought “order to the chaos” by providing guidance and advisory support, along with a disciplined governance approach to the incumbent Integration Merger Office.

The client highlighted our overall project leadership as valuable reasons to re-engage Centric in the future, including soft skill strengths, the quality of our program/project management skills, our client focused principles and our ability to maintain positive attitudes in an ambiguous and challenging environment.