Why M&A Plays

Program Delivery Tracking

Learn about popular function that provides support, information and direction. Ensure the M&A process is consistent, transparent and managed correctly.

About the play

Program delivery tracking is typically the primary function of the Separation Management Office (SMO). It acts at the backbone of the divestiture providing support, information and direction. Through it’s governance management, the SMO ensures the right decisions are being made, as well as transparency and consistency in process.



Executive sponsor, separation manager and deal team




Meeting Agenda, Whiteboard, Strategy Documents


Spend one day or more to prepare materials for a two hour play.

Running the Play:


Implement Processes for Tracking the Program

Program milestone tracking

Milestones should follow the SMART principle (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) with a due date, ownership and the ability have commentary against each. To understand how the overall plan slips, there should be baseline date tracking as well.

Budget tracking

The approved budget for the divestiture drives the funding. It will tell stakeholders how much money is needed and when.  It also provides the basis for project cost control. By measuring the project's actual cost against the approved budget, it can be determined if the divestiture is progressing according to the plan or if corrective action is needed. This is accomplished using a cost baseline.

Risk and Issue Tracking

Common to running any program there needs to be risk and issue tracking managed by the SMO.

Decision Tracking

Decisions essential for the direction of the divestiture should be logged and kept as a reference and communication tool to assure everyone is aware of the decision.

This allows everyone to be aware and move on. These decisions may be made in a forum that does not involve all team members so this is a standard method to document and communicate decisions.

Business Inventory Tracking

A business inventory has every asset that will be divested from the parent. The SMO manages it and keeps it updated during the divestiture. This then becomes the ‘source of truth’ that can be used to cross-references against transaction agreements, divestiture plans and cutover activities.


Create Tracking Outputs

Program Dashboard

A single page report is recommended for the divestiture overall. It should include the key metrics and top level risks and issues.

Status Reports

The project status report is a vital communication tool. Stakeholders will want simple communications on status with both qualitative and quantitative assessments on progress.