Chapter 5: Implementation Strategy for Agile M&A

Align teams

The M&A process is primarily about the movement of information, and one of the fundamental benefits of Agile is to facilitate that flow. In order for Agile to be applied successfully, however, teams must be aligned. Agile M&A is about breaking down the walls between silos and encouraging the entire deal team to collaborate in real time. It is vital to convey to teams from the outset of the deal that there is an expectation of open communication, organizational transparency, and process alignment. A consistent process allows for teams to communicate needs and challenges instantaneously. This lateral communication between teams eliminates the issue of mediating the flow of information through a third party like a PM, thereby reducing the wait time and stoppages associated with cross-functional dependencies.

Team alignment begins with the kickoff meeting. This is the perfect opportunity to communicate to team members the requirements for team alignment and transparency, and the benefits conferred by such alignment. The constant rhythm of standups and retrospectives reinforces this model. Although functional groups may initially resist complete process alignment due to the increased work inherent in transition and the increased scrutiny under which they will operate, the innumerable workflow advantages will quickly turn the most vocal detractors into advocates.