Operational Diligence

Operational assessment & risk mitigation

The greatest players in basketball have extraordinary court vision and awareness, the ability to anticipate the next play, and to adjust rapidly to competitor moves. In mergers and acquisitions, there’s typically only one shot at doing a deal—and timing is everything. Increasingly, faced with constrained time frames and exclusivity windows for options, deal teams may focus more on financial and accounting diligence than operational diligence—a mistake that can result in a missed shot.

Anticipate the play

As a leading M&A service provider for many of the top private equity firms and strategic buyers and sellers, Deloitte offers decades of operational diligence experience, deep functional knowledge, global resources, and effective diligence practices. Our Operational Diligence professionals can assist clients with critically evaluating a target’s attractiveness through operational assessments and risk mitigation strategies. We link these findings to deal value for informed transaction decision-making, negotiations, and eventual strategic and financial value realization.
We work closely with our other M&A practices, such as M&A Strategy and Commercial Diligence, to provide insights at each stage of the M&A life cycle. We also leverage the audit, financial advisory, risk management, and tax services of Deloitte’s network of practitioners to bring the targeted resources to our operational diligence engagements.

Operational Diligence services

Buy-side and sell-side diligence: We analyze key findings of the diligence process to identify financial and cost implications of the deal, including potential risks and opportunities.

Integration planning, synergy identification, and risk assessment: We develop synergy and timing estimates to align with the integration approach and timeline, and we conduct risk assessments and upfront integration planning to identify potential integration pitfalls.

Operational, functional synergy deep dive and validation: When a client conducts its own diligence, we can perform a deep-dive analysis of its team’s results and, based on agreed-to parameters and our previous client engagements, test and validate them.

Diligence program management and execution: We can help a client establish an operational diligence approach, deliverables, and checklists that align with the client’s priority focus areas based on the deal vision and rationale.

Learn more about Operational Diligence services

The future of the deal

Throughout the M&A life cycle, Deloitte’s Total M&A Solution provides cognitive enablers and accelerators to bring the power of automation, analytics, and machine learning to M&A transactions. The integrated set of innovative accelerators and enablers offers solutions that can be tailored to each client’s transaction journey—and helps map the path ahead. The end result is smarter insights, increased confidence about the future, and a better experience for every transaction team.

Potential bottom-line benefits

  • Leverage effective diligence approaches, processes, and checklists that guide diligence efforts and summarize key findings for client leadership and key stakeholders.
  • Evaluate and summarize relevant findings, including operational risks, financial and operational implications, and mitigation strategies.
  • Gain access to deep functional, global knowledge and experience needed to perform detailed analysis and supplement core diligence teams.
  • Leverage an initial view of the integration strategy to align value drivers and understand cost implications.


Faced with constrained time frames and exclusivity windows for options, deal teams may focus more on financial and accounting diligence than operational diligence—a mistake that can result in a missed shot.

Meet our leader

William Engelbrecht

William Engelbrecht

M&A Pre-Deal Advisory Practice Leader

William (Will) is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and leads its Pre-Deal Advisory practice. He has more than 15 years of experience serving clients with a focus on creating value through M&A ... More