Thursday, April 26, 2007

When Integration goes bad; A 100 day Integration Plan

OK, so we will have a lot of fun here exaggerating what can go wrong during the typical 100 day integration plan. This is for informational and entertainment purposes only so please do not try these at home. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Day 1 – Read the following after checking how a typical 100 day integration plan is built:

Designing a typical Integration Plan

Determine your desired outcomes: What are you hoping to achieve within each integration area? What does successful integration look like?

Reverse engineer the activities and timeline benchmarks: What activities need to be accomplished to get you from where you are to where you want to be?

Determine the authority and responsibility people for each benchmark: Who has primary responsibility for making sure each activity is accomplished?

Determine the team for each responsible person: Who else will be working on that activity?

Set start dates and benchmark check dates: When does work on that activity need to start, and—if it’s not an ongoing requirement—by what date does it need to be completed?

Day 1 - Conduct one hour meetings with each department to determine their needs.

Result – “The Bobs” collect large amounts of data including team members saying what they hoped you wanted to hear, passive aggressive answers to the tough questions, and answers that get you to believe they are engaged and not shopping their resume. The true data is uncovered at the “What’s up Integration blog” and numerous “myspace” posts.

Day 2 - No matter what the interview data says or does not say; implement whatever version of the Implementation Plan that those in charge know to be the best. Announce this at the “Quantum Leap” Integration kickoff meetings at “Insert Resort Here”, Las Vegas, NV. Send three leaders to outside training and hire a consultant that specializes in your industry.

Result – Executive team is convinced that all are on-board and engaged 100%. All have a great time in Vegas and the employee alliance process begins. Some of these alliances are effective others are focused on sabotaging what they now call “Quantum Heap”.

Day 30 - Review results, “We are on track with our activity and result goals, hooray!” OK, let’s do it again next month.

Result – The data measures that show you will not make the 90 day goal are either missed or ignored. The employees being trained are being recruited due to their newly attained skills, and headhunters are now calling your best employees.

Day 60 – “Missed it by that much…” Although it is clear that we have missed our benchmarks, we have good reasons why and it is not our fault. Have a tough talk with those other people who are at fault. We just need to continue doing what we have been doing, and try harder over the next 30 days.

Result – The data showing that we are cruising off course at a high rate of speed is either ignored or missed. Meetings are now fear based sessions where the ineffective details are argued over, and over, and over again. 30% of the employees are now disengaged or just along for the ride. What could have been a truly “right person” for this integration has left and two highly skilled (“wrong people”) are hired. Did anyone hear from our consultant lately?

Day 90 - “Just a bit outside...” Actually, it is way outside.

Result - Fire someone important and the consultant. Replace the two additional resources that left and pay extra to retain the wrong resources that are sticking around to milk the budget for all that it is worth.

Day 99 - How did we get here?

Result - So we missed our 90 day goal, no problem. Does anyone really care? 85% of these fail anyway. Ok, so let’s gather everyone who is still on board and announce our new re-integration initiative. How about “Quantum Leap II”?

Result – Those boarding planes to Vegas have branded it “Here we go Again on Our Own”.