After every major undertaking, it’s always a good idea to conduct an after-action review to determine what went well, what went poorly, and how to improve for the next time around. This is modelled on the military approach to after-action review, which I’ve described in more detail here.

I’m currently working with a client that has been through a merger and now an acquisition. Here are some of the areas to examine in conducting an after-action review to improve the next time around:

  • Competitive and corporate strategy
  • Financing & ownership
  • Brand & repute
  • Competitor reactions
  • Strategic planning
  • Planning & budgeting
  • Operations
  • Information technology and management
  • Website and online presence
  • Client relations & communications
  • Client retention & turnover
  • Other stakeholder reactions
  • Marketing & promotion
  • Employee relations (especially management)
  • Revenue generation
  • Redundancy & cost control
  • Administrative processes & systems
  • Compensation & benefits
  • Recruiting & integration
  • Key people retention & turnover
  • Succession planning

For each of these areas, you can ask your key stakeholders to identify the following:

  • Successes
  • Mistakes
  • New strengths resulting from merger/acquisition
  • Weaknesses & vulnerabilities resulting from merger/acquisition
  • New opportunities
  • Risks & threats
  • How to improve the process in the future

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