Business as Usual

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    Melissa Mason

    In reflection of the materials on Business as Usual, I realize we used this term frequently during our last acquisition. With the main intent to not disrupt the business so they could focus on goals and financial targets. What is your best suggestion to get the integration work complete but not disrupt the business.


    Paul Gray, MBA

    This is a very interesting question and I too in a limited way have heard the term used in our firm for at least 2 previous acquisitions, primarily in the financial services industry. “No disruption” in suggests no material impact to the customer value chain but that the execution is conducted in such a way that it is seamless to the end-customer. This is particularly key in for example financial services model where most of what you sell is confidence. To achieve this, it is critical to have an integration management team whose primary job is on the integration and nothing else. They will do the heavy lifting, in design, and guiding execution giving due consideration to the endgame and achievement of the overarching strategic objective. The team could comprise of internal subject matter experts whom have been reassigned or via onboarding external subject matter experts. The key here is that the integration team’s sole responsibility is the integration.



    I believe the most efficient way is to have the department leader (VP/Director) lead the integration, and use this as an opportunity for leadership development for those directly under the VP/Director. Promote one to assist VP or Assistant Director and allow them to run the business as usual.


    Tanaquil Chantrill

    I agree having an integration team that is dedicated to the integration process is critical in order to allow BAU to occur and be managed by a different team. However you will need support and presence from the executive level on the integration team in order to demonstrate to the organization the seriousness and importance of the integration. The make-up of the integration team may benefit from a mixture of SMEs within the organization, executives as mentioned and third-party consultants that can bring an unbiased approach and not be seen as a threat to the employees and teams that are not involved in the integration process.


    holly firestine

    Frequent communication with all stakeholders about current state, actions to take place and timing and the intended future state help to minimize behavioral risks to BAU. When people are left to figure things out on their own or come up with hypothesis on what’s really happening and why because they are not being communicated with and/or involved, this becomes incredibly disruptive to operating the business on a day to day basis and achieving objectives. It also leads to retention issues which stretches the remaining colleagues that remain as well as makes them wonder why people are leaving and if they should to. Transparent, frequent and clear communication is key in my opinion to minimize disruption and allow for better BAU opportunity.


    Maria Villanueva

    To secure and truly implement the intent of BAU, there has to be a clear prioritization, milestone plan, governance framework and more importantly a set of qualified dedicated resources to ensure that the integration plan is met and that the other resources and activities constituting BAU is not disrupted. It’s easier said than done but having contingencies and being clear on the impact of set backs can help with recalibrating priorities and implementation. The sooner the integration activities and milestones are met, the better it is for everyone. So it is to the advantage of everyone to develop these plans on solid processes and dependable qualified personnel.


    Billy Fok Kam Luen

    in order to not disrupt the business, I would say communication is very important for all levels. the company should not implement top-down approach communication, should have participative engagement. cause sometimes the senior management might not understand the ground operation issue that are facing and they don’t the daily operation of the company


    Gina Miele

    I believe that it is important to have someone solely focused on integrations as their full time job. Having someone employed for the sole purpose of integrations will enable the department leadership to continue to focus on business as usual, with only minor interruptions for scheduled meetings and implementations related to the integration activities. A strong focus must be kept on continuing business as usual, as integration activities can be widely distracting for everyone in the company.


    Bradley D. Soto

    Great question! To ensure that the current business goals are met while also integrating a new company, it is critical that there be a strong Integration Management Leader with a team of highly skilled Project Managers to support the line leaders who would be members of the project team. A strong PM discipline & approach will ensure that the business leaders involved can spend their time on the most critical integration activities/work that would allow them to balance the day-to-day with the integration duties. Without that vital PM support structure, that includes establishing clear roles/responsibilities/timelines, business, as usual, will be at risk.


    Cindy DeMarco

    I really liked Joan’s response.
    “I believe the most efficient way is to have the department leader (VP/Director) lead the integration, and use this as an opportunity for leadership development for those directly under the VP/Director. Promote one to assist VP or Assistant Director and allow them to run the business as usual.” My add would be for the two to have daily briefs and provide weekly communication related to integration and business as usual – showing joint collaboration and communication that both activities are essential.
    Thank you, Cindy


    stacy hall

    Establish a workstream and team to monitor ‘business as usual’ and over-communicate



    I see the opportunity here as a “yes and …” opportunity. I agree with the posts above offering that the integration be led by a full time, highly qualified leader. While the integration work is underway, the business is expected to run well and achieve defined business outcomes (I can’t bring myself to use the term “business as usual” as I believe it often connotates work that is lacking agility and forward-thinking). I don’t think either workstream can run with blinders on. I see them as sharing mutual accountability for goals at the top of the organization… they have different pathways, expectations and metrics to deliver those org level goals. Eventually these pathways will converge so it is critical that there are some formal and informal communication loops between the business that is still charging ahead and the integration effort. Yes, we need the business engine to keep churning and delivering AND we need the integration work to hit the milestones and deliver. Communication and collaborative forward-thinking infused into the day to day work for the “BAU” and the integration work are game-changing elements.

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