Have you ever tried to put together a blank puzzle? Like one with 5,000 pieces and no image to guide you? While you may be up for the challenge, the puzzle may be a brutal experience without a clear picture of the result. Navigating a Merger and Acquisition (M&A) system consolidation with no upfront planning can be viewed much the same way! A strong integration plan (a.k.a. puzzle image) can make a huge impact on the success of a consolidated system project. The trick is to form a plan with a solid baseline and an understanding of key decisions that must be made to reduce the risk of rework and delays.

Sierra-Cedar has successfully assisted many companies with system consolidations during an M&A project. We have developed a methodology to optimize planning and help mitigate risk. This methodology begins with our PeopleSoft System Readiness Assessment. In this blog, we will go over the five areas of focus in this assessment.

Focus Area #1: Strategic Vision. Does the organization have a clear strategic vision? The strategic plan is the main guide for your organization and should address goals, system migration, setting priorities, and resource retention. A defined vision sets the tone for the project as well as the organization going forward.

Focus Area #2: Organizational Readiness. How are policy changes and key decisions made and what is the lead time to incorporate them into the organization? Having a clear understanding will help avoid delays in the project timeline. This also is the time to identify a change management team to keep on top of organizational and cultural changes and communicate those clearly to employees.

Focus Area #3: System Readiness. Can your systems handle the new organization? From verifying the latest updates have been applied to validating hardware needs to reviewing your disaster recovery plan, a complete assessment of your current systems is critical before a consolidation.

Focus Area #4: Business Process Readiness. Have you assessed current processes? While HR and organizational policies and procedures are often addressed in M&A activities, it is not as common for a company to validate existing business and systems processes. Best practice is to review all processes, make changes early in the project, and clearly communicate those changes to the organization.

Focus Area #5: Data Readiness. Is your organization’s data accurate and ready to incorporate the target company data? If there are data issues or last-minute changes to key configuration elements, the project could be at risk with a longer timeline and higher costs.

To learn more about our proprietary PeopleSoft-specific Integration Methodology for Mergers & Acquisitions, please contact us today.