Chapter 2: What is Agile M&A?

Agile M&A Core Principles

Building on the foundational work of the 2001 Agile Manifesto, the Agile M&A Core Principles are intended to encourage a new way of thinking and working within the M&A world. These principles empower M&A professionals to change the way they collaborate, tackle shifting priorities, and achieve common goals.

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools: M&A projects benefit significantly when people work together consistently to achieve a common goal.
  2. Meaningful progress over comprehensive documentation: within an M&A project, large volumes of data and materials are created, exchanged, reviewed, and analyzed. The key to a successful M&A process lies in the ability to distinguish between irrelevant noise and the type of critical data that will ensure a deal proceeds on validated assumptions and accurate information.
  3. Real-time collaboration over sequential work: focusing on direct collaboration is an essential component of a highly-effective Agile M&A team.
  4. Responding to change over following a plan: a successful Agile M&A team must be able to adapt to changing needs swiftly and fluidly.
  5. Operational transparency over implicit assumptions: within an M&A project, many critical decisions will be made based on complex considerations. In order to maximize the value of the deal, the M&A team must have a clear understanding of progress, challenges, risks, and obstacles to be addressed.

These five values are the strategic foundation of the entire Agile M&A project. The techniques and strategies outlined in the next sections of this book are built upon the vision defined by these principles — but they are by no means the final word. Any technique or process that aligns with these values has a place in the Agile M&A model. True to the nature of Agile and its principle of continuous improvement, practitioners are encouraged to refine and enrich the strategies and techniques outlined below.