Manager’s Guide To Navigating The Four Stages Of Team Development

Bruce Tuckman was a pioneer in group dynamics and developed the theory of team group development. For instance, a team sponsor will ensure that the team has the budget and the staff hours available to support the project. However, having positive shared experiences will make it easier if you work with some of these people again.

All groups must go through the initial four stages in order to become productive and deliver results. According to our Project Management Statistics 2021, an astonishing 92% of people believe that collaboration with their teammates could be improved. A kanban board gives you a visual overview of all of the tasks for your project, so you can keep an eye on any bottlenecks or areas of pressure. Tasks can be assigned to team members, departments, and also dates to ensure your project stays on track. There are a few things you can do to reduce the intensity and duration of your storms.

If it weren’t for Coach Phil Jackson’s visionary leadership, that unstoppable force might have never formed. You must be proactive and establish your team framework early in the process. A good team requires smart leadership and team building exercises to succeed. Productivity goes up, and the team settles into a comfortable groove. What he proposed was that all teams go through natural stages of development that work toward finishing their assigned task.

Team leaders need to make sure that the stronger personalities don’t inadvertently dominate the team and its outcomes. All members should be actively participating before this stage is complete. The lead team member may need to use these skills when there are differing opinions and negotiation with team members is required. At the Performing Stage, managers can expect the team to start delivering predictable results and meeting deadlines. They can delegate more responsibilities to the team and focus on more strategic work.

forming team development

They may be feeling some anxiety because of uncertainty about their individual role or future responsibilities. They may feel sadness or a sense of loss about the changes coming to their team relationships. And at the same time, team members may feel a sense of deep satisfaction at the accomplishments of the team. Individual members might feel all of these things at the same time, or may cycle through feelings of loss followed by feelings of satisfaction. Given these conflicting feelings, individual and team morale may rise or fall throughout the ending stage.

What Is The Forming Storming Norming And Performing Model?

As the group develops cohesion, leadership changes from ‘one’ teammate in charge to shared leadership. Team members learn they have to trust one another for shared leadership to be effective. Most high-performing teams go through five stages of team development. Team members may feel a variety of concerns about the team’s impending dissolution.

The team is flexible as individuals adapt to meet the needs of other team members. This is a highly productive stage both personally and professionally. This stage begins to occur as the process of organizing tasks and processes surface interpersonal conflicts. Leadership, power, and structural issues dominate this stage. The initial forming stage is the process of putting the structure of the team together.

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Teams need a clear purpose and mission and should be reminded of them often. As a member, you’ll also get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. The team is pleased with how well the project is going along, as is Sandra and the executives of the organization. They enjoy each other’s company – both while working on the project and after hours via communicating on email, instant messaging, on Twitter, or over the telephone. The team members have gone back to their home offices and are beginning work on their project.

As a natural consequence of it all, your project is bound to progress at a steady rate — mismatched, uncompromising teams can only produce incomplete, confusing projects. Now, if the team members have grown close over time, and grown accustomed to working with each other, they may mourn the fact that it’s now time to move on and work with other people. 💡 To facilitate this transition from the Storming Stage to the Norming Stage, you’re advised to incorporate team management software into your team workflow.

Navigating The performing Stage

In agile software development, high-performance teams will exhibit a swarm behavior as they come together, collaborate, and focus on solving a single problem. Swarming is a sometime behavior, in contrast to mob programming, which can be thought of as swarming all the time. This Tuckman’s Team and Group Model just says these are phases a team tends to cycle through. It’s not a hard and fast – they go through Stage 1, then Stage 2. It’s more to be aware of these phases and use them to inform your leadership or coaching (and for self-management too!).

  • Team members refocus on established team groundrules and practices and return their focus to the team’s tasks.
  • Bruce Tuckman was a pioneer in group dynamics and developed the theory of team group development.
  • It can be riddled with conflict as the individual personalities and work styles clash within the team.
  • The team also needs a strong team leader who helps direct and keeps the team to task.
  • Your weekly retrospective meetings during this phase should focus on making sure the team has a chance to get to know each other.

As a leader, your role is to remind your team members that conflicts are natural. Disagreements occur because each team member has a unique viewpoint on how to address the difficulties that the entire team faces. As the group becomes more acquainted, positions and duties will emerge. Team members must understand their roles and begin building relationships with others. Fully understanding everyone’s role and responsibilities allows the team to solve problems quickly. They also know who to reach out to for specific information or advice.

A large part of giving your team members room to grow is by allowing them to focus on where they can have the most impact and refining priorities to remove or minimize extraneous concerns. Circles of Influence is a great method to help your group reflect on what affects them and the team and see how they can meaningfully impact what concerns or influences them. Team communication is key in ensuring that a group can move through the Storming stage while also not avoiding potentially productive discussions around working practices or different perspectives. 9 Dimensions is a powerful activity designed to build relationships and trust among team members. All new groups get to know each other organically through the process of getting together and working as a team. That said, without direction and consideration, this process can be time-consuming, messy, or even frustrating and alienating for some team members.

They know and rely on each other’s strengths and can work together to achieve ambitious goals and meet deadlines. Managers need to recognise each achievement the team makes at this stage, no matter how small or large. The team must know that despite all difficulties, they are still delivering and making progress. This is the point where the project comes to an end and the team separates and goes their separate ways. Some team members may find this hard because they liked the routine of the group, have made close friendships or if the future, after leaving this team, looks bleak and unpromising.


Once you’ve weathered the storm, pun intended, your team can move into norming. Here, team members have figured out how to work together and there’s no more conflict or internal competitions lingering. The first stage is forming, which is when the members within the team first come together to meet. It can be considered the period of orientation when everyone is getting to know one another and becoming acquainted.

Having a way to identify and understand causes for changes in the team behaviors can help the team maximize its process and its productivity. The Storming stage is undoubtedly the roughest aspect of team development. This is the stage where everyone must come to terms with the team’s failings. During this stage, high irritability and frustration are to be expected. Individuals will try to establish whom they want to be in a more forceful, independent way.

forming team development

While those people are still available when we need them, we usually don’t. Most teams today work according to the principles of the agile movement. Even if you’re not “Agile” , you self-organize around tasks. You don’t wait to be told how to do your job – you determine the best way to meet your objectives and get on with it. Communication in the Workplace Crossed wires and missed connections – good communication among teams is tablestakes for effective teamwork. At this stage, you should make time to celebrate your team’s achievements and make them see how far they’ve come.

Key Actions To Support Performing

At the end of the day, you’re all working towards a common goal, to get there, you need a foundation built on listening to what the others on the team have to say. While his work started with only the first four stages, in 1977 Tuckman and his doctoral student Mary Ann Jensen added the fifth stage, adjourning, to indicate when a team has completed a project. Team Meetings GuideLearn how the world’s best companies run effective team meetings – featuring insights from Figma, Buffer, Close, Webflow, Shopify, and more. Chiefs of StaffTrack key takeaways from executive meetings, enhance alignment across scaling teams, and amplify the CEO’s communication to help the company flourish. This retrospective meeting should consist of looking at how much everyone has grown throughout their time together.

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By gaining a better understanding of the 5 stages of team development, you should have the tools you need to help your team collaborate more efficiently and productively. The end of a project is naturally a great time to reflect, collect final learning points and think about what you might improve or do differently in the future. For an adjourning team, this can be an important step in enabling further growth and supercharging future projects and ensuring everyone is well positioned for whatever they do next. Crucially, you and your team should find some way to share learning points through reflection and then document them effectively. Reflecting on how perspectives and working practices have changed and been positively affected by individual and group effort can reveal great learning points for the future.

When all your team members will share positive experiences, it’ll boost their confidence and lift their mood. The adjourning phase is especially difficult for those people who are habitual of working in teams. Overall, the phase consists of mixed emotions from the members because of the team ending. For instance, they should evaluate their team process, progress and see if any of their deliverables are pending. Tuckman’s stages of group development and how this model can help your team develop and become effective.

Sometimes a more qualified team member can facilitate a particular discussion better than you. So, you should give them the opportunity to lead those sessions. You can also introduce an open door policy forming team development to encourage team members to share their concerns with you. How to set up a clock-in clock-out system at work Need a good clock-in clock-out system so people coming to work can check in and out?

How to track your team’s time off Here’s how you can easily track your team’s time off in Clockify…. Marija Kojic is a productivity writer who’s always researching about various productivity techniques and time management tips in order to find the best ones to write about. She can often be found testing and writing about apps meant to enhance the workflow of freelancers, remote workers, and regular employees. Appeared in G2 Crowd Learning Hub, The Good Men Project, and Pick the Brain, among other places.

These stages explain why it takes time and patience for a team to reach peak productivity. Is an agile project management software used to plan, monitor, and deploy software. Users can monitor bugs, deploy up-to-date software and enable teams to establish their workflows. It can be integrated with third-party tools, which allow teams to manage their projects and products from the beginning to completion. When working on a project, team members need to understand clearly what their roles and responsibilities are. When team members are unsure about their goals, it can create role ambiguity and waste their energy working on unrelated tasks.

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