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Dissertation Abstract

A Study of Factors  Related to Process Improvement Project Team Success

Gail Longbotham
Regent University

Michael Hammer, who coined the phrase "reengineering" in the late 1980's, felt at the time that "radical" was the most important part of his definition. Now he sees the most significant aspect is "process" (1996, p. xii), and indeed, improving processes has been a theme, even a necessity for survival, for organizations in the 1980's and 1990's. One improvement strategy is the use of cross-functional process improvement project teams. There is much literature proposing transformational leadership as the model for team success. This study will investigate factors related to project team success using actual project records from a process improvement consulting company. The factors investigated fall into three broad categories. First, there are the leadership attributes and behaviors of the three types of leaders for these project teams: the external consultant, the team leader, and the project champion. In addition, factors related to team success suggested in the literature are studied. Finally, a number of covariates specific to this type of project team were included, such as significance of the project to the client company. The study looked at four measures of project team success: Return on investment, timeliness of completion, additional projects with the consulting company, and whether the project had financial benefit to the client company. This study does not investigate leadership characteristics as they may affect team morale or long-term company culture.