I am not in an M&A role. However, just taking a common sense approach to this, a starting point would be senior management identifying the range of M&A opportunities that fit the company’s M&A strategies. It seems reasonable to assign coordination of the effort to a director of corporate development, under the COO or CFO–or make it a responsibility of one of these executives. Before the first acquisition, this corporate development professional should develop a theoretical project plan template of what they see needing to get accomplished in a typical acquisition envisioned by senior management’s M&A strategy. Due diligence would be one section of the plan, and multiple steps would be “N/A” in many potential transactions. But just a matrix setting forth anticipated tasks, target dates, and personnel necessary to accomplish each task would help flesh out who needs to be involved, both for DD and other stages. Each acquisition will bring its own “lessons learned,” which will result in continuous revision of the template.