Functions Integration


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    Khalid Ameen

    In your opinion, how can you ensure that the different function leads work together throughout the integration process? In other words, how can we avoid the different functions to work in silo which will lead to sub-optimal integration value creation?


    Here are a few ways that we do this at my company:
    • Instead of integration planning for each functional area separately, we plan and execute business process work streams (e.g., order to cash, record to report, procure to pay, prospect to customer, make to distribute, etc.). This way all teams involved in the process understand the interconnectedness of the process steps and therefore the interdependencies of the teams, and upstream/downstream impacts as it relates to their process step. The complexity of these work streams will vary depending on the size if the company and the number of teams who own different pieces of the process. Some examples:
    o Instead of planning for each of these areas separately and having separate conversations/check ins with each team, we have a prospect to customer work stream. The groups below were all involved with the onboarding of customers that came with a deal.
     Deal Modeling/Pricing
     Credit
     Customer Onboarding & Implementation
     Sales
     Contracts
     Legal
     Sourcing
     Warehouse
     Communications
    o From an order to cash perspective, you’d have process owners from each step in the OTC business process meet regularly to plan for the integration and then to check in on execution of the integration plan. I start by casting the widest net at the outset and then after we define scope, teams who don’t have an active role to play in the integration may roll off the meeting invites.
     Accounting (external reporting and business unit support)
     Finance (FP&A)
     Global Financial Shared Services (finance ops: AR, credit, collections, etc.)
     Treasury
     IT solution owner(s) of the OTC IT application(s)
     Customer Service
     Billing
     Pricing
     Rebates and Incentives
     Tax (sales tax)
     Sales
     Legal
     Contracts
     Master Data – Customer
     Communications
     Internal Audit (if policy exceptions are required)
    • During the integration kick-off meeting, (preferably after sign, but before the deal close), the IMO sets clear expectations of the roles and responsibilities of the integration leads and business process owners for each of the areas. This kick-off call introduces everyone to the larger integration team so everyone knows who owns which pieces. I think silos are created (especially in larger companies) because people don’t know who to work with upstream or downstream from their process.
    • We have weekly integration calls where each of the areas and business processes are represented. During this call, we review the overall timeline with major milestones, each area gives a quick status update, and most importantly we talk through dependencies and risks those areas have with each other. Having this weekly discussion gets the team familiar with one another’s areas and presents an overall view of the integration so that everyone can see how the dots are connected.

    Albert TAN

    We need to have in place a proper budget for each department approved by the Board of Directors. Any shortfall, or excess need to be justified. The budget will outline the basic requirements to get things done and annually, the limits must be reviewed and compared with previous years.

    Kim Morrison

    I have done this a few different ways. One was a cross-functional advisory committee that together was accountable for the delivery of the various parts of an Integration. For instance, payroll, finance, hr, and IT. More recently, the IMO has structured cross-functional processes that link together all of the capabilities for a process and an example would be all HR functions. This has finance, employee services, IT, HR, Payroll, legal aspects.


    In our case, while we have functional leaders from both organizations for all important functions. We can created a PMO (Program Management office) with Functional program managers and central Program managers. Functional Program Managers are also there in both the Organizations and this entire PMO is responsible for collaboration among various team members. Central PMO is responsible for coordination among all functional groups and thus bridge all the gaps.

    Jeremiah McFerrin

    Similar to other responses, we would typically create a central Integration / Transformation Management Office to manage the transaction process and ensure teams are working together effectively. Additionally, we incorporate sessions with team leads each week to discuss transaction activities and get a sense for level of collaboration.

    Ian Smith

    For me it is all in the governance and how you lay the foundations for people to discuss in the future of he project. also executive sponsorship is key to ensure you are able to manage expectations of what is required of people and have an escalation point if they dont.

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