Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Kimora Kachelmyer

Reader (Advisor 2)

Diane Hinds

Reader (Advisor 3)

Dr. Charles Nuckles


Regulatory Support Services (RSS), a department within American Express Retirement Services (AERS), provides qualified plan services to AERS and is located in downtown Minneapolis. Regulatory Support Services created a critical review process in late 1998 which describes what a task is, why it is done, how it is done, and how it can be done more efficiently. Essentially, it is a model created to assess the quality of work. The critical review process was met with confusion and frustration by everyone involved. The management team would like to retain the process itself, but feels it can be improved to be more effective.

There were problems in RSS that precipitated the development of the critical review process. First, the VP of RSS felt employees lacked a solid understanding of why they were performing various tasks. She also felt that RSS needed to have a method to identify process improvements and to have information documented for job successors. In addition, RSS needed new ways to service customers better, and since RSS is a non- revenue generating unit, the management team needed to ensure it was functioning as efficiently as possible. Another factor is that RSS will cost the company 1.6 million dollars in 2000 and needs to justify why it should exist.

The purpose of this research project is to learn how the RSS critical review process has effected the RSS department. Learning the effects will help identify areas for improvement, which will allow this author to make recommendations on how to improve the overall process. The author will focus on the method used to identify process improvements.


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