Agree your new programs

One of the advantages of merging is to bring programs together that increase the scope, depth and coverage of services the new organisation can deliver to its service-users.

The types of decisions that you will need to make in agreeing the programs of your new organisation and what these changes may mean for your service-users are shown in Figure 17 below.

Figure 17: Program design decision and outcomes for service-users

Clients have reacted positively, because they feel a part of something bigger. So they get more services that they did before.
— Not-for-profit organisation on the reaction of clients to a merger

Some of the questions that will help to guide your considerations about the programs that your new organisation will deliver are listed below. In considering the answers to each question, you may wish to ascribe weightings to help guide your decisions.  

Figure 18: Questions to consider when agreeing to programs

The nature and timing of the activities required to implement your organisation’s new programs will largely depend on the extent to which you are retaining, modifying or ceasing existing programs or developing entirely new programs. You may also wish to consider whether it would be beneficial to stagger the introduction of any major changes.

In planning the implementation of your organisation’s new programs it is critical to:

  • œ  Consider the extent and duration of impacts on service-users from any major changes
  • œ  Consider service-user access, any changes to service sites, changes to staff at the program level (if any)
  • œ  Develop appropriate transition strategies for service-users where required
  • œ  Communicate the impacts (both positive and negative)  of any changes to your service-users, funders and any other partners
  • œ  Inform local community about the change so that potential service-users are aware that services continue
  • œ  Identify the capabilities required to lead and implement each program.

Please feel free to leave questions or comments on this part of the merger toolkit.