Why M&A Plays

Integration Knowledge Transfer Kickoff

Ensure business continuity through knowledge transfer. Learn how to drive this knowledge transfer with newly acquired personnel on strict timelines.

About the play

This play has been designed with the part-time integration lead in mind and is particularly applicable to integration environments targeting high-speed, high-volume integration exercises with varying levels of commercial diligence.

In this environment, acquiring integration leads have little time to ensure business continuity through knowledge transfer, but may find it “awkward” to drive this knowledge transfer with newly acquired personnel on strict timelines. 

Consequently, this play is used to solve several problems, including hesitation on the part of an acquiring integration lead, lack of clarity in deliverable and process for the acquiring integration lead and acquired counterpart, and loss of transitioned knowledge.

This play can be thought of as a “lead domino” that forces action on the part of two potentially hesitant parties.

Moreover, this play reinforces the concept that knowledge transfer is an exercise with a discrete beginning, middle, and end rather than an organic, gradual exploration.

Ultimately, Integration Knowledge Transfer Kickoff (NAME IT VS REPEATING THIS PLAY “teams up” the acquiring integration lead and acquired counterpart to execute a shared task, while breaking the ice and messaging the benefits of the approach for the acquired counterpart.


A defined Knowledge Transfer Sheet” should be developed across a set of functional integration leads and iterated after each project. The initial creation of a knowledge transfer sheet can take an hour or more depending on function area and technical depth of knowledge transfer sought.

This exercise requires a detailed walkthrough and cataloging of information needed to convert an exploratory approach to a list of discrete, repeatable questions to be answered and deliverables to be acquired.

Additionally, expectations for knowledge transfer due dates must be set with functional leads during the preceding integration project kickoff or Agile cadence.


Head of Integrations, Functional Integration Lead, Acquired Counterpart




Collaborative knowledge transfer sheet tool (any tool that enables a shared, collaborative document outside of the acquiring organization as deployment may occur before IT systems are integrated), email


1-2 hours of prep, 15 minutes to execute

Running the Play:


Confirmation of Knowledge Transfer Sheet Accuracy

Contact acquiring integration lead via email with a  link to their knowledge transfer sheet contained.

Example text:

“Hi Kison,

As a reminder, Day 1 for Project Handsome is this Thursday. The new employees will be receiving communication via Town Hall meeting, and we’ll give them Friday to absorb the news.

On Monday, I’ll introduce you to your initial counterpart with the link to your knowledge transfer sheet attached. Please review your knowledge transfer sheet, cross-check against the information in the data room,  and make any needed edits before I send it on Monday.

As part of the introduction, I’ll provide the due date for declaring the knowledge transfer exercise complete so they’ll have that information, as well.”


Knowledge Transfer Introduction

Contact acquired counterpart with acquiring integration lead cc’ed on email with a  link to their knowledge transfer sheet contained.

Example text:

“Hi Chris,

My name is Aaron Whiting, and I am Private Equity Operating Executive. My role is to manage the project of our two companies coming together.

As a first step in that process, I’d like to introduce Kison (cc’ed), our integration lead for our Support organization. As a natural part of the integration process, you and Kison will have a lot of questions for each other.

We’ve captured a core list of questions we usually have on the linked tool HERE. There will likely be other conversations that pop up, but these questions will help guide those conversations.

We’ve found that by providing these questions ahead of time and allowing you to pull documentation together on your own time, we can make more effective use of your time and reduce unnecessary meetings.

Please review the questions on the linked sheet and begin pulling together documentation or providing answers directly on the sheet.

Kison will look to schedule some time with you about a week from now to review the documentation and fill in any gaps that arise while you work on the sheet.

We’re targeting having knowledge transfer sheets completed by XX/XX/XXXX, so feel free to hold Kison accountable to answering those questions quickly; we’re here to help.

You’re in good hands with Kison, but let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. 




Knowledge Transfer Review

During the Agile integration cadence, review Knowledge Transfer sheet progress in terms of percentage complete, while emphasizing the due date for completion.


Iterate and improve

Periodically assess for content applicability and completeness with leads throughout the project lifecycle. Identify opportunities to scale and automate within enterprise environmental factors and process assets.