Integration project management.

This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Thant Coleman 1 year, 9 months ago.

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    Silman Ondrej Dia

    Since the integration manager is a profession should this person be an internal one or an external one. What would be the pros & cons of each scenarios?


    Mateusz Młynarczyk

    I have read an interesting HBR’ article about this issue (“Special Leaders for Special Times”), and in my opinion internal managers are more adequate leaders to conduct post-merger integration projects, however external point of view is very useful and should be applied to better recognise all threats.


    Dale Deg

    My short answer is both have their pros and cons but would need to understand the starting perspective to accurately answer your question. In my opinion, an internal integration manager has one key advantage(pro), that is they are part of the organization and could have final decision power. In contrast (con) they could be myopic in their view of things and influenced by the “victory syndrome”. An external consultant IMO manager can only make recommendations, they cannot tell someone to do anything or approve expenditures or personnel time/project changes(con). However, they may be more objective about the entire IM project (pro) and could avoid making decision/recommendations that are biased.

    Dale Deg


    Corynne Pierce

    Some of this depends on available resources. If you have resources internally that have the capacity to fill this role, they can usually ramp up faster because they already know the business. On the other hand, if the company assigns this internally and the person does not have the capacity to take on the work, the integration will not be very successful. If the company does not have plans to have future M&A activity and does not currently have internal resources, it makes sense to bring someone on externally for the duration of the integration.

    As stated by others, there are certainly pros and cons to both. From what I have seen, internal managers have been the most successful. We have had a few external integration managers and they have either been let go part way through the project due to a mismatch in personality and culture fit, or they did just as well or better than internal staff and were offered full time positions with the company.


    Thant Coleman

    Impossible to say whether an internal or external manager should be employed without having a lot more context and understanding of the environment and scenario at hand. Stereotypically an internal manager may be capable and would have an excellent knowledge of the organization. This person could serve as a tactical manager for the “Owner” or senior manager responsible for achieving synergies for the organization. Unless an organization routinely acquires companies or has an M&A department, I would doubt an internal resource would have the level integration experience that and external candidate would have. The average Director or VP may see an acquisition or two in their careers whereas a “professional” Integration Manager earns a living managing nothing but PMI. The external candidate should be much more seasoned that anyone internal.

    Understand that I am making some assumptions and as I indicated initially, some context and understanding of the integration would be needed to properly answer your question.

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