Business and Technical Architecture Planning for Corporate Mergers

Merging two corporate entities, especially sizable ones, is a very tricky and complicated process. The Source company will have a unique corporate culture and sets of business processes and IT processes that have grown imperfectly over time, and the same is true of the Target company (the one being acquired or merged into the source). Without help from a qualified consultant, it can be easy for workers in the Source company to try to do a direct mapping between Business and IT processes in both companies. This is almost impossible and would take way too long to figure out. Instead, it is smarter and more efficient to brainstorm a Model Company that you want the post merger organization to resemble. Rethink the business and IT processes from scratch. Develop user stories or use cases to help think through the business processes. Use IT industry best practices (design patterns, principles, enterprise architecture frameworks, hardware architecture, etc) that you desire the Model Company to be like.

Allow a team of up to 11 workers something like 2-4 weeks for every year the older of the two companies has been in business, up to no more than 40 years (we need an arbitrary, hard limit so as to avoid spending too much time on older companies). In other words, if the Source company (the one initiating the merger) is the oldest, and has been in business for 40 years, then it may take something like 80-160 weeks to come up with a working Model Company. To cut the time, consider partitioning the Model Company and assigning a team to each Partition.

Once you have the Model Company modeled and documented, you can determine which company (Source or Target) has the best competency for a particular Model Company Process (Business or IT process). Use a decision matrix approach such as Architecture Alternative Analysis (AAA) to help decide which company is voted the most competent at a Process. Such an approach will eliminate tie-breaker situations when both companies are deemed to have equal competence.

At the conclusion of the decision matrix iteration, do a Gap Analysis to determine what gaps exist between the Actual Company (Source or Target) and the Model Company. Document how to close the gap. Identify the risks and rewards of closing each gap. Be sure to include Subject Matter Experts from both companies, with an outside consultant (Merger Architect Coach) to act as facilitator, tie-breaker, business architect and IT architect – sort of an IT go-to specialist to keep the team moving forward.

If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know

John Conley III

Chief Technology Architect

Samsona Software

© 2013 by John Conley III for Samsona Corporation

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