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Team Harry

Page history last edited by Saeed Abooleet 1 year, 11 months ago


Project 2

Strategic Merger Project between Ottoman Empire(OE) and Emmerdant Chaise (EC)


Team Members:

Art Johnson

Saeed Abo-Oleet

John Plavsic

Prikshit Yadav





The goal of this project is to consult the Strategic Merger Team (SMT) towards best practices on implementing a 24-month project plan toward the merger of OE and EC operations.



Part I: Recommendations regarding the Project Charter.



In general, the project charter should provide a project statement of work (SOW), which explains the final business need and clarifies how the project aligns with the Organizations (OE) strategic plan. It also should provide a business case, which explains the financial benefits such as cost reduction, and Non-financial benefits such as customer loyalty, and innovation. The project charter should also provide a contractual agreement between OE and EC merger such as Contractual requirement, terms, and conditions on the merger. It also should discuss the enterprise environmental factors such as organizational structure, human resource capabilities, risk database, regulations, industry standards, government policies, and marketing strategies. Finally, the project charter should have the Organizational Process Assets (OPA), which includes policies, procedures, templates, prior projects, intranets, and past project documents. 


Purpose/Background for Project Charter:

Ottoman Empire (OE), a major furniture retailer in North America has bought its European counterpart Emmerdant Chaise (EC), a major furniture retailer in Europe and Asia and a merger process needs to be implemented. The goal for this merger processes is to implement a synchronized system between the two companies. Dewitt Mighway, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Ottoman Empire, requires from the Strategic Merger Team (SMT) a 24-month project plan toward the merger of OE and EC operations.

Note: - OE's acquisition of EC was finalized early October. Top management feels an urgency toward building relationships among peers, investigating opportunities to share knowledge and mutually improve systems and to find synergies to combine operations.


Business Case:

Ottoman Empire (OE) and Emmerdant Chaise (EC) both work on in the same field of business but the two companies are very different in there way of operations, as OE has bought EC to expand its business in the European and Asian market. There is an urgent need to merge the best practices from each company to form new goals company goals and have a smooth business continuity. For this, we need to create a Strategic Merger Team (SMT) that can help in creating a merger plan between the two companies and provide specific advice toward initiating and organizing a 24-month Strategic Merger project.


Project And Product Overview:

The proposed project will provide a compendium for the Strategic Merger Team the content of the report will cover the similarities between the two firms, cultural differences, and employee differences. This project will also cover a details report about the technological differences between the companies and how they can be mitigated. Business alignment for each functional area will be covered in individual sections. As a part of this project, we will also be coming up with new company goals that align with both cultures and how one can learn from others. These activities will involve relationship development over different cultures as this new team will be working across the globe, share best practices and have them implemented according to domains. Finally, this project charter will focus on the processes that can be combined to reduce cost and improve efficiency.


Charter Scope:

  • Recommendations for programs, policies, or processes that will support knowledge sharing and the evolution of a shared corporate culture.

  • Recommendations for processes or systems within functional areas that might be merged into a single international system;

  • For each process or system recommended for the merger, what is the recommended high-level process to achieve this? How long should it take? What are the key risks (that must be addressed or mitigated) in the merger process?


High-level Requirements:

  • Merger Strategy: Create a program that will help the OE and EC merger process and effectively and efficiently within 24 Months.

  • Financial assessment: Team should discuss what provides the most cost savings, which processes can be combined and what best practices can be incorporated to maximize productivity. Also making sure we have a return on investment.

  • Technical/functional assessment: IT lead is responsible for making sure testing produces acceptable results, for all data migration across platforms.

  • Data migration: IT department will oversee migrating the data on existing servers from google platform to the Microsoft platform.

    • Employees of EC will still continue to use Apple machines.

    • Microsoft Office, Outlook, SharePoint, Skype for business will be tool choices.

    • For the virtual meeting, WebEx will be the tool of choice.

  • Processes and systems that can potentially be consolidated

    • Mering the manufacturing units across the continents

    • Improve the Shipping process.

    • Eliminate Current Customer support Process at OE and transfer this work to the EC team as they have the knowledge and are better at it.

    • Increase online sales, Increase E-commerce revenue

    • Increase online presence on social media

  • Scaling needs: Hosting plan that scales depending on needs.

  • Security considerations: sensitive data is stored, quality of customer support and new user training, and performance.

  • Regulatory compliance: As a Telecom company that processes customer billing with credit cards, we are obligated to ensure that any customer information is kept private at all time. The chosen cloud vendor must be compliant with PCI DSS.

  • SMT Stakeholders

  • Dewitt Mighway, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Ottoman Empire

    • Ariel Payne Diaz, the US Operations Manager from OE

    • Ngan Tu-Seun, EC's Director of Logistics

    • Lotta Angst, OE's Director of Strategic Planning


Risks and Mitigation:

  • Cultural Differences and how they might affect the overall performance of this project.

  • Debts in both companies to have a better idea about where each company stands. 

  • Technology Conflicts between the two companies and how such issue will shape the merger process.

  • The operational conflicts in terms of how each company is operating and they will operate after the merger. 

  • Manufacturing Differences between the two companies and how it would affect the merger.

  • Compliance and Regulations in both countries and how these regulations can be addressed during the merger. 




The timeline required to complete each task in the project charter. Here is a suggested timeline.  https://www.scribd.com/document/392860950/Project-Timeline


SMT Leadership:

Dewitt Mighway, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Ottoman Empire

Ariel Payne Diaz, the US Operations Manager from OE

Ngan Tu-Seun, EC's Director of Logistics

Lotta Angst, OE's Director of Strategic Planning


SMT Team Members:


Meeting Schedule: 

Project Retreat Meeting, tentatively scheduled for January 23 to 26, 2019 from 8 am to 4 pm in Chicago, Agathe Zeublouze and Mike Romanage will attend daily morning session for 2hrs, that will be 3 pm France Time via WebEx. During this  Agathe and Mike will be briefed about daily progress and task in hand for the day.


Part II: Recommendations regarding the collaboration tools: 

Ottoman Empire uses Microsoft products which included office Suite, Onedrive, word perfect and Skype for business. EC uses an Apple shop but is using G Suite a Google product that allows collaboration. We recommend the Samepage Online Collaboration tool because of the features, integrations, language, and platforms. The platforms SamePage uses are available for windows/ mac/ android/ and IOS. SamePage supports multi-languages such as German, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian to name a few. This will benefit the companies through its transition because of the various languages used throughout both companies. The Integrations includes google drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, salesforce, and host of many others. The feature includes Audio/text chats, calendars, files sharing, Project Management, and groups. The list of the recommended tools is below. 


Name: Samepage


Price: $0 or $7 per member


  • Audio/ Video Conferencing

  • Chat Messaging

  • Contact management

  • Document management

  • Group Calendars

  • Project Management

  • Task management


Name: Lifesize


Price: Mini bundle $16/ Small bundle $19/ Medium Bundle $23 per user


  • Audio/ Video Conferencing

  • Chat Messaging

  • Group Calendars


Name: Slack


Price: $0 Free / $6.67 Standard/ $12.50 Plus per user/ per month


  • Audio/ Video Conferencing

  • Chat Messaging

  • Document management

  • Project Management

  • Task management


Name: Monday.com


Price: Must contact for 200+ users


  • Chat/Messaging

  • Contact management

  • Document management

  • Group Calendars

  • Project Management

  • Task management


Name: Quip


Price $30 for a team of five and $10 per each additional person.


  • Chat/Messaging

  • Document management

  • Project Management

  • Task management


Part III: Recommendation regarding the best practices for the SMT.


1)Kicking off the virtual global team and learning to work together.

There is a difference between kicking off the virtual project team and kicking off the project.

The kickoff meeting should be centered around the team members to try to get them excited about the opportunities ahead of them, the project overall goal, and most importantly about each other. Then, the team can start working on the project. The importance of this kickoff meeting is to help the team members to know each other, understand each other's culture, and build personal and working relationships. There is more than one technique to help you team build relationships. The goal of this kickoff meeting is to take the time upfront to understand all the environments and cultures you are working in. For example, SMT leaders should encourage the SMT members to answer the below questions:


  • What is the one thing you would like the rest of the team to know about you?

  • What do you take pride in?

  • What is your definition of a rewarding project?

  • What is the best attribute you can bring to the team?

  • What does frustrate you the most when working on a project?


2)Clarify tasks and processes, not just goals and roles.

The SMT leaders should simplify the work to the greatest extent possible, ideally so tasks are assigned to sub-groups of two or three team members. You have to make sure that there is clarity about the work process, with specifics about who does what and when. Then periodically do “after-action reviews” to evaluate how things are going and identify process adjustments and training needs. The team is diverse and needs a more coherent understanding of the project goal. Because of this, it is essential for the SMT leaders to be more specific and detailed about the required processes and tasks that need to be done.


3)Manage day-to-day activities more effectively.

The SMT is in co-located, which makes it hard to pick up the phone to follow up on the daily activates of the team with a single call (8 hours’ difference in time zone). The SMT leaders should start adopting a collaboration and sharing portal early on to let them track all members’ activities at any time. The collaboration portal or software is not the solution by itself, but how it is going to be used is what makes it effective. This portal should include:


  • Project information, such as the Charter, Scope Statement.

  • Status reports.

  • Project schedule/timeline.

  • Project documentation.

  • Tools and templates.

  • Special project team members’ information (e.g., software specialists)

  • Organization-wide “go to” people and resources

  • Document sharing capabilities/whiteboarding


4)Run effective virtual team meetings.

To ensure virtual team meetings are effective, you must spend a significant amount of time preparing for the meeting and using your leadership and facilitation skills to ensure that you accomplish the objectives of the meeting, every team member participates, and decisions can be made. There are many ways to run effective virtual team meetings; however, the principle is to create, increase, and force engagement and interactions from all team members frequently. Here are some techniques that will help in achieving more interaction and engagement.


  • Identify agenda items, including timing for discussions.

  • Encourage team members to give you feedback on this agenda beforehand.

  • Determine meeting goals

  • Send the agenda ahead of time to all participants.

  • Try to get everyone engaged, so avoid monologues.

  • If there is not a necessity for a meeting, don’t meet.

  • Use a pattern language to understand the collaboration required.

  • As team leaders, try to ask frequently.

  • Make sure that everyone heard and understand you or another team member when you are done speaking.

  • Call the team members by their names, and make sure it becomes a habit.

  • Encourage speaking slowly, using short sentences, being concise, and avoiding slang and cultural references.

  • Make the implicit explicit; describe and state what seems obvious.

  • Test the technology before a meeting.

  • Don’t try something new with technology during the meeting.

  • Technology is not reliable, so make sure that you have a backup plan if something goes wrong with technology.


5)Develop and Use a Team Operating Agreements plan.

Team operating agreements are more of a living document. They emphasize agreements about how to work together daily; to resolve issues, report status, assign work, show up for meetings, timeliness, how to deal with holidays, conflict, and what to do if deadlines or meeting are missed, and more. There are three broad areas that this agreement includes which are: discussions/problem solving, managing conflicts, and reporting on status. Here are some tips that the SMT leaders should follow:


  • While solving problems, ensure that all virtual team members have sufficient and relevant background information.

  • Make sure that you set ground rules for the conflict resolution discussion.

  • As team leaders, state that the conflict to be resolved in clear, neutral, nonjudgmental language, ensuring understanding by all team members.

  • Encourage listening behavior between team members.

  • Because the time is defined differently in each culture, make sure that all team members understand the meaning of due dates for their tasks.

  • While working on solving a problem, ask if there is an issue that has not been discussed.

  • Validate the decision by taking advantage of the technology, such as polls.



6)Organize one-to-one meetings.

Leaders’ one-to-one performance management and coaching interactions with their team members are a fundamental part of making any teamwork. You will have an early warning on issues that are more difficult to see coming on virtual teams. Here are some tips:


  • Provide team members feedback on good and questionable performance.

  • While performance is declining, be specific so that you can get the team member back on track.

  • When performance is good, highlight the successes to the rest of the team.

  • Remind team members with their career objectives.



7)Use collaborative technology effectively.

Virtual teams have many options to use while working on projects. Using this variety of tools could be overwhelming. Here are some tips about enhancing the outcome of using collaborative technologies.


  • Try to match the right technology to the right task. This can be done by understanding why you are using this specific technology.

  • As team leaders, it is best to test these technologies before deploying that to the rest of the team. You should fully understand them.

  • Stick to a fixed number of technologies. Make sure that you don’t introduce a new technology unless there is a need for that.

  • Don’t assume that all member will grasp these technologies at the same level, so make sure that training and support are available.

  • Keep the virtual technology simple, and focus on how to facilitate.

  • Let your team members use the technology before the actual time of the meeting (check-in session) to make sure that they get it.


Resources to get more information about the best practices for virtual, global, and multicultural teams:

Best Practices for engagement in virtual meetings.

Five Lessons for Global Virtual Teams

5 Tips for virtual collaboration.

Print    Virtual teams really are different: 6 lessons for creating successful ones

Global Teams That Work
























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