Tuckman’s Stages Of Team Development By Laurence Lew

While members may still be getting used to one another, the goal remains constant, which will help unify the team and build cohesion. After the project concludes, the team gathers one last time for a retrospective meeting on what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what could be done better next time. Once this debrief is complete, the team goes their separate ways. If powerful superhero and entrepreneur teams have taught us anything, it is that working with others can increase your strength and success.

stage of team development

According to Dr. Tuckman, all phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning—are necessary for teams to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. The first step in team development is to set a clear purpose at the beginning itself. What is the company mission, what values is it promoting and what is its goal should be clearly defined with help of a mission statement? The framework will prove useful in giving a purpose and direction to all the members throughout the process. The team leader has to be a strong facilitator and unafraid to be firm.

What Is The Performing Stage Of Team Development?

Services Services Leverage services that provide quick innovation with designs that work the first time—and stay reliable for years. ? Learn more about the differences between transactional and transformational leadership. Each person plays a part and has something to contribute. When one person fails to complete a task, the rest of the group suffers. But, you can point out areas of improvement or strengths to the group as a whole, without pointing fingers.

stage of team development

When you know how long a process takes, you can identify areas that could be made more efficient. It can also help you predict how much additional time your group might need stage of team development to complete the current project. Whether you are leading your entire company or a smaller project group, you have a huge influence onteam developmentand performance.

Drive Continuous Feedback

It’s up to managers to provide this space and hear each team member out, whether in person or virtually. In 1965, American educational psychological researcher Bruce Wayne Tuckman published Tuckman’s Stages as a way to improve teamwork and enhance company efficiency. His method originally only comprised four stages of team development until 1977, when he teamed with doctoral student Mary Ann Jensen to add a fifth stage. In this post, we discuss Tuckman’s five stages of team development, including how they apply to a modern workforce and how managers can use them to build team cohesion. Knowing each stage of development can help you create all-star teams that deliver amazing results.

It’s important to note that not all groups make it past this stage. The leader must stay positive and coach members in assertiveness and, where necessary, conflict resolution skills. When the team members learn about each other’s opinions and start to disagree concerning the project and how things need to be done. This may arise because of the difference in personality, working styles, communication methods, organizational skills, and more.

It is the leader who will have to create a healthy and positive work environment within his team. He can use tools for instance training, discussions and workshops for the development of the team members. In stage 4, relationships are strong and there is more trust and camaraderie between team members.

The next project can always be better than the last, and we can always be better than we were yesterday. Unless, of course, your team is sticking together, as you all will continue to work at the same company. That said, holding a retrospective meeting to analyze the team’s collective performance after the conclusion of a project is always valuable. Greater team cohesion means members can rely on each other to complete work and provide feedback in order to continually improve. They are starting to trust each other, which means increased productivity and effective decision making.

How Can You Help Your Team Advance In Their Development?

All groups must go through the initial four stages in order to become productive and deliver results. Company Company It started with innovation and engineering services. Learn more about our story here, and how we can work together. Industries Industries From medical devices to test systems, learn how innovation-centric services have helped organizations from various sectors in identifying risks—and addressing them.

More often in the corporate world, cross-functional teams will be formed for a project and then disperse at the end of the project. However, before moving on to the next project, it can be beneficial for the leader to overview with the team their successes and challenges , as well as celebrating their accomplishment. By this stage, the team has started to figure out how to work together. Conflicts have largely been squashed as team members grow more used to each other and appreciative of one another’s unique skills. The manager or team leader has earned respect, and the project goal and way forward is clear. Whether in person or via Zoom, the forming stage of team development remains relevant, as team members need to get to know each other and be assured of each other’s skills.

This sounds easy, as we all hire such individuals on our teams – or at least, we try to. In 1977, Bruce Tuckman added another stage that some teams experience. Typically, this stage occurs when the team has been assembled for a specific project and the project is complete.

This is more common today, as we are constantly working on a variety of projects. This can also happen if there is restructuring within an organization. This can be a difficult time for some team members and leaders, as they may be unsure of their futures. Strategies for this phase include recognizing individual and team efforts, providing learning opportunities and feedback, and monitoring the ‘energy’ of the team. Traits of Adjourning include a shift to process orientation, sadness, and recognition of team and individual efforts.

stage of team development

During this stage, it’s important to make time to celebrate the team’s success on the project and discuss best practices for the future. This is the time to have a post-mortem meeting about what worked, what didn’t, and how to learn from those mistakes. To get the process rolling, let’s look at the 5 stages of team development and how this framework can help your startup scale. In each stage, team members exhibit typical «task» and «relationship» behaviors, consistent with the basic theme of that particular stage of development.

The 5 Stages Of Team Development For Growing Companies

With a solid rhythm now in place, work is getting done efficiently, the team is motivated to do a good job, and problem-solving is both quick and effective. Onboarding new hires is an involved operation, especially during the scaling process. As new people get hired and new teams get put together, getting a team to gel can be tricky. How to prepare for a skip level meeting Learn what makes a good skip level meeting, how to create a skip level meeting agenda, and key questions for both managers and employees to ask. By setting clear, firm goals right from the start and making them visible to the entire team, a manager can steer the team in the right direction.

  • Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, DevOps Leads, and other professional can apply the information to help handle challenges or issues experienced by teams.
  • Storming is an inalienable part of any team experience.
  • Providing consistent feedback prevents team stagnation because everyone is always striving to do and be better.
  • The 4 performing stage as the name suggests is the fourth of the five stages of team development.
  • However, the stages may merge into one another or be repeated as issues recur or new ones emerge.

When conflicts are resolved, it can improve existing processes and bond members together. When members disagree about something, listen to each side. Without them, no one will know what is considered acceptable behavior. Groups without rules are disjointed, prone to conflict and inefficient. Toggl Track is the time tracker that can slot into any team’s workflow. Get crystal-clear insights into what your team members do with their time and see which team members are overworked, and which ones can take on more.

They learn how to deal with their differences and appreciate colleagues’ strengths. These stages were created and curated by psychologist Bruce Tuckman to develop teams in the year 1965. However, in 1977, along with his student Mary Ann, they added another stage to this model. Popular by the name of “Tuckman’s Stages”, these are some steps every business must implement in their work strategies. Most businesses demand and want a perfectly high-performance work team. They need many goal-focused individuals and have the expertise to collaborate, curate, and innovate a product or service that the company offers.

They must see each other as props that they can use to make the most of the situation. They need to be comfortable contributing thoughts and opinions openly. OpenLearn works with other organisations by providing free courses and resources that support our mission of opening up educational opportunities to more people in more places. For 20+ years, we have provided consultants, coaches, and corporations the tools to optimize hiring processes and maximize performance.


The members use each other’s strengths to reach peak capacity and enhance the levels of team efficiency and productivity. The group can gain clarity around metrics and vision to achieve desired success. The 3 norming stage as the name suggests is the third of the five stages of team development. It is often referred to as the calm after the storm as the members learn how to handle conflict and proceed amicably. The working atmosphere becomes familiar and normal and people become comfortable in their joint spaces.

Norming, The Third Stage Of Team Development:

Any disagreements during this stage are more constructive than critical, and don’t stall the project at hand. Thanks to a better understanding of each other’s abilities, team members are able to work better together. There are still stumbling blocks and disagreements, but they don’t derail progress.

Do Not Run Away From Conflicts

Our validated assessments, flexible platform, and exceptional support have positioned us as a «Global Leader in Assessment Technology.» I would follow that up with “How much work was there, on a one-to-ten scale? Is it okay for Jim’s parents to have a different curfew? Jim’s family just has different ground rules, and those ground rules can be different from yours. Traits of Storming include some resistance, lack of participation, conflict based on differences of opinions, competition, and high emotions.

This is where your management skills really come in — the team leader must be clear about goals and provide distinct direction for the project. After working through the significant issues, the group begins to coalesce and actually work as a team, supporting each other, and this is known as the Norming stage. During this phase of team building, responsibilities are clearly defined and the team begins to map out a plan to achieve its goals. The team’s leader is more engaged in team building at this stage to make sure everyone understands the plan.

Typical traits of Adjourning include potential sadness, recognition of team and individual efforts, and disbanding. Tuckman’s model has stood the test of time because it remains highly relevant and beneficial. Since his work was published, it has been supported by additional peer-reviewed research. Strategies for this phase include ‘guiding from the side’ , celebrating successes, and encouraging collective decision-making and problem-solving.

It is a fact that a team leader can make or break a team and the project he is in charge of. The 1 Forming stage as the name suggests is the first of the five stages of team development. It is considered the introductory or the honeymoon phase as all the individuals have to start making adjustments to become part of the team. The members often undergo various emotions at the beginning like enthusiasm, nervousness, politeness, optimism and apprehensiveness as they are unsure of each other. As the team is new, most members feel dependent on their team lead for direction and guidance during this stage.

Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, DevOps Leads, and other professional can apply the information to help handle challenges or issues experienced by teams. The Tuckman’s model of team development stages is the very basics of team management, and I believe most of you know them. But I don’t want to talk about team management, I want to discuss team leadership. Because I believe that a leader strives to realize the potential of his/her team members by achieving the project goal when a manager simply distributes tasks. Nowadays no one wants to be treated as a resource, therefore I believe that leadership is more viable and healthy way to achieve outstanding results.

In some cases, this stage is also achieved during restructuring or relocating of a project. It leads to an uncertain time as members are unsure of their future role or the project they will be working on. When looking at all 5 stages of team development, it’s important to remember that at the core of each stage is the team itself. It’s a challenging process, one that is even more difficult in the case of remote teams.

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