Managing Integrations Remotely/Virtually

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    I would be interested to hear this community’s thoughts on remote/virtual integrations. Post- COVID, so much more work is accomplished virtually and acquisition integration is no exception. Do you think an integration can effectively be managed 100% virtually or are there certain events/activities that your practices prioritize for in-person meetings?


    That’s a great question Jarrod. I prefer having integration kick-off meeting in-person vs remote as IMO it is slightly more effective, and allows you build some initial trust with acquired team members.


    I have experienced full-virtuel integrations being successful (due to COVID), but I believe it slows down the integration and assimilation among the staff from the two organisations – as virtual meetings often is a poor place for informal coffee chats


    I have been a part of post-merger integrations done primarily remotely. I can safely say that the cost associated with some travel in the beginning and at critical points throughout are crucial to building rapport and maintaining morale in the acquired teams.


    Hi Jarrod:

    With today’s technology, I see a lot of progress made remotely for large strategic projects. However, I also see the benefits when team members can get in a room. Thus, I believe it depends on the workstream and what point in the integration process team members need to come together and collaborate.

    I also concur with Erin’s assessment.


    I have been through acquisitions earlier. Today, it is possible to work on integration remotely. Infact, during one of the acquisitions earlier in my career, the seller’s teams were distributed across multiple countries and it would not have been possible to meet in person (irrespective of the pandemic being there or not). However, one of the teams was based out of India and hence we met them in person for a week to initiate the integration process. This kind of set the tone and built the trust with the seller organization in general. If there is an option to meet atleast initially, then that’s the way to go. If not, remote integration is certainly possible.


    I am just ahead of the integration work to start for a very large financial institutional with global footprint… we will need to go for a hybrid-approach, as it will not be possible due to time and budget reasons to accomodate for in person arrangements in every booking center, but I would say that the HR topics should be handled as much as possible in person…

    Oscar Chang

    In my experience managing projects remotely has not been an issue as long as there are actionable items that are executed on time. Much of the lapse in project completion comes from lack of following up and tracking; as long as these factors are done correctly, there should be no issues.


    Great question. I believe it depends on the size an complexity of the integration. I’d recommend having always the kick off and close meeting of the integration project F2F regardless the size of the project.

    Andrea Chiu

    With the pandemic mostly behind us, whether its PMI or any other business operation, I think the way forward should be a combination of physical and virtual approaches. We should integrate technology where possible to increase efficiency and productivity, but the human connections should not be overlooked at any point in time. How we balance the tech and human aspects will depend on the type and size of entities involves, nature of business and transaction, its people and where they are located.


    Agreeing upon a theme here, sometimes an in-person meet is key to building trust. a combination of both is so much better, however.

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