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Utility M&A: Betting on the CIO

Presenting 5 critical factors in realizing merger-related savings.

Fortnightly Magazine - March 2007

rarely is a comprehensive plan in place to communicate with employees and stakeholders and to address impending changes.

In a communication vacuum, rumors and inaccurate information spread quickly, adding to merger stress. Frequent, coordinated communication is the only remedy. This demands a thorough communication plan that employs a range of medium, including weekly meetings, and newsletters. “Report out” sessions at the completion of each phase of the integration and collaborative tools, such as portals.

With this plan in place, employees receive accurate information when they need it, including notices about training opportunities, so they can fully prepare for the new processes and systems. The IT team should never be afraid to over-communicate, since repetition ensures that the message reaches people throughout the organization. And when you don’t have all the answers, saying that you don’t know is better than failing to communicate.

Mergers are grassroots-level transformations that affect every part of a company and every employee. Senior management or a transition team must develop a robust, start-to-finish integration methodology and see it through to the end. By leveraging this proven, experience-based approach, utilities can integrate their IT assets smoothly and gain the full value they expect.