5 Stages Of Team Development And How To Navigate Them Smoothly

The Tuckman Model suggests that teams mature through the first two stages of forming and storming. To start forming bonds, it’s necessary for the team members to spend time and effort on team-building after they’re assembled. It’s important to note that, since you’re dealing with humans, there’s no way to fast-forward to this stage because your team needs time to become comfortable with each other. Trust takes time, and often bonds arise out of conflict, so the storming stage is actually necessary to develop the kind of cohesiveness that propels successful groups forward. If you’re a manager, you can help the storming stage resolve and progress by negotiating compromises among team members. Compromising during the storming stage resolves conflict and pushes the team to forward.

tuckman stages of team development

It can be easy to forget that these stages are normal, especially during challenging times. Some stages may be prolonged, overlap, and even be repeated as members and goals change. This information references Bruce Tuckman’s „Stages of Group Development.“ We’ve clearly seen cases where making teams stable improves performance. What I’m saying is that using Tuckman’s as an argument for keeping teams stable is invalid because Tuckman’s Theory is wrong. According to Tuckman’s Theory, all teams pass through these stages in this order.

Project Status Reports: The Go

9 Dimensions is a powerful activity designed to build relationships and trust among team members. Effective managers will often take the opportunity to help people get to know each other in a safe environment and share themselves meaningfully. Broadly, team development can be understood as a framework or series of actions designed to improve the way a group works together. For example, some teams exist only for one project, and even permanent teams may be re-allocated through organizational restructuring. At this stage, they know each other better, as well as their responsibilities. They may feel deceptive overconfidence and therefore challenge your authority or jockey for position.

What are the stages of team development in project management?

The stages a team generally goes through are: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. As a project manager, a good understanding of these stages will help you guide a team from infancy to maturity.

According to Hickam and Meixner , “Not only do our students crave experiential pedagogies, they are likewise hungry for multi-media and pop culture stimulation” (p. 42). I engaged them through my then standard approach – Software product management starting with conducting interviews and collecting surveys. Once the data was collected and summarized, I gathered the team together and asked them to analyze the data summary as if it was another team’s – not their own.

What Are Tuckman’s 5 Stages Of Group Development?

This is the point where you and other team members begin to recognize the purpose of the team, becoming less resistant to one another’s ideas and change in general. Members essentially ‘agree to disagree.’ While team members may ask their leader questions, they are generally clarifying questions and not structure questions. It should be noted that as new projects and challenges face your team, there is a risk that you may slip back into the storming stage or possibly all the way back to forming. It is imperative that team members are aware of what is happening within their own group. In Tuckman’s norming stage, team relations are characterized by cohesion. (Keep in mind that not all teams reach this stage.) Team members actively acknowledge all members‘ contributions, build community, maintain team focus and mission, and work to solve team issues.

To effectively move forward with team development, a group first needs to understand their purpose and overall goals. Frustration or conflict can arise if the group doesn’t agree on or understand the reason for the team’s existence and how success will be measured. Being sure the team is aligned on team goals early on means that you can develop as a group swiftly and efficiently. Also, expecting and understanding the normalcy of conflict can make it easier to manage issues when they happen. As the team begins to move towards its goals, members discover that the team can’t live up to all of their early excitement and expectations.


And start running small experiments around swapping team members or putting people on rotations. When we move people from functional units to whole teams and we make the teams stable, we’re causing a drastic reduction in time lost to context switch and we’re moving allocation toward healthier levels. Performance will go up even if the team doesn’t sit together or communicate with one another very often. tuckman stages of team development Of all the studies done over the past 50+ years, one in particular stands out for me. The US Military ran an extensive study of team formation across a large population for an extended period of time seeking to better map out Tuckman’s Theory and when/how teams moved through the various stages. Retrospective meetings during the Performing phase should resemble the meetings during the Norming phase.

tuckman stages of team development

Facilitate team discussions and remind team members to be respectful of others’ opinions and comments. Each stage has its own characteristics and challenges ranging from the emotional to the logistical. Review what you can expect from each stage of team development. All teams are made up of individuals with varying skill sets, perspectives, and needs.

Where Do forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, And Adjourning Come From?

Figure out what each individual can do to increase the team’s quality, speed, bus number, and overall productivity. Sometimes I get the response, “Daily.” I had one person tell me “quarterly” because he was a remote manager and his office was halfway across the country. Even if their answer is that they met often, the manager was simply overseeing the team and letting the team run the course, not barking out orders to them.

What are six characteristics of effective teams?

Shared goals. If asked to identify their goal at work, most staff members would probably say that it is to provide high-quality, patient-centered care.
Clearly defined roles.
Shared knowledge and skills.
Effective, timely communication.
Mutual respect.
An optimistic, can-do attitude.

As groups work together, conflicts in thinking, approach, or working practices can and will arise. You can foster the empathetic capacity of participants to “walk in the shoes” of others. Many situations do not have immediate answers or tuckman stages of team development clear resolutions. Recognizing these situations and responding with empathy can improve the “cultural climate” and build trust among group members. HSR helps individuals learn to respond in ways that do not overpromise or overcontrol.

Posted by: Lisa Rowan