Research has shown that projects are complex and volatile by nature resulting in challenges for project managers and project-based organizations. Knowledge and learning, as demonstrated by the research, are a means of coping with the changing project environment. Learning particularly between members of a project team becomes crucial in improving performance and may be instrumental to project team effectiveness. The goal of this study was to examine the associations between learning styles and project effectiveness. The subject project team is a virtual project team that is in transition from development to life cycle sustainment. Project teams were surveyed to determine learning styles and interpretations of team effectiveness. To validate the interpretations of team effectiveness, interviews with project managers were conducted. A case study was developed based on the results of the surveys, interviews and record reviews to mitigate bias. Of the current eight teams on the project only three small business teams were able to participate. To a degree, the team interviews, observations, and artifact review identified that the teams were effective in accomplishing the joint venture team's goals. The learning styles of the dispersed team members resulted in increasing overall virtual project team effectiveness, but were not critical to the local teams obtaining their objectives. The effectiveness of the individual teams was improved by the team's ability to communicate and collaborate demonstrating a transfer of information from one group to another. Information transfer and the resultant knowledge gained from such transfers are critical to overall project effectiveness and attainment of end goals. Understanding of how information can be transferred and processed into knowledge is critical to projects transitioning from development to life cycle sustainment.
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