The Five Stages of Team Development

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The Five Stages of Team Development

When each stage carries through successfully, the entire group will be more in sync and functional. No member of the team will be afraid to ask questions, raise concerns, or propose new ways of performing tasks. Team members usually play to their strengths and help each other out, thereby enhancing teamwork and cohesion in your organization.

  • In addition to establishing your team’s mission or goal, it’s also important to set roles for individual team members.
  • In this stage, individual members vie for leadership roles while others chafe at their team members giving them direction.
  • Forming— In the forming stage, team members are getting to know each other and trying to figure out how they can work together.
  • Often, a more task-oriented approach, of letting the team evolve by focusing attention and energy on the team task, is more effective.
  • The five stages of team development go a long way in ensuring that your teams thrive and that conflicts are kept minimal.
  • The stronger personalities will be evident during this stage.

If the goal is vague or isn’t shared by all, team members may be confused about where their efforts should be directed or reluctant to contribute at all. Team members start to open up and confront one another’s ideas and perspectives. These stages are steps in the team building process and are similar to team building best practices. (Sadly, not a perfect rhyme.) Once a project ends, the team disbands. This phase is sometimes known as mourning because members have grown close and feel a loss now that the experience is over.

#5 Adjourning Stage

The curve increases briefly and at the maximum there is a label ‘Working group’. The curve declines to a minimum one-third of the way across the horizontal axis where it is labelled four stages of group development ‘Pseudo team’. The curve then rises in the middle third of the axis and almost reaches the top of the figure, and approximately half-way up is labelled ‘Potential’.

team development stage

It’s challenging to balance common and individual goals within a team especially during moments of discord, failure, or stress. Whether you’re building a new team or working on a specific project with cross-functional partners, it’s important to establish your team’s mission early on. Setting a goal, even before you start working together, establishes some ground rules to focus on and ensures that everyone is on the same page and moving towards the same goal. Allow the team to provide constructive feedback to the team leader, the HR team, and any other relevant staff members not directly on the project team. At the end of the performing stage, the task assigned to the team will be completed.

Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Teams Development Model & How to use it | by Emma-Louise

In an organization, the adjourning stage could translate into a change in employees’ job responsibilities. For instance, if the team develops a new work process for improving the customer experience, members may be asked to oversee the new and improved process. In the norming stage, the team falls into a rhythm and starts to work as a cohesive task force. Each member’s talents and skills get validated and utilized in executing the necessary tasks. As a result, the team starts to operate more effectively and gains momentum towards realizing the shared goals. Members become more comfortable with each other and understand the significance of utilizing their diverse perspectives to find practical solutions to any challenges.

If you’re a team leader, it’s best to remember that an overlap between the storming and norming stages may appear. Your team can easily backslide into the storming stage, especially when new tasks arise or when handling the more complicated aspects of the project. For this reason, team leaders should be at hand to help members return to the norming stage.

What you’ll learn to do: explain the stages of team development and the factors that contribute to team success

This is a highly productive stage both personally and professionally. This is typically the most conflictive stage of team development. This conflict is healthy but needs to be managed appropriately.

Cliques and subgroups start to form, and members value competition more than collaboration. For any team to be successful and high-performing, all the stages of team development must be implemented to gain the maximum output. Team members learn about their roles and responsibilities during the meeting to attain the shared goal. All the ground rules are established during the forming stage.

Five Stage Model of Group Development

As the project is waning, team members are more focused on the next opportunity than finishing the project. The high energy of collaboration and creativity slows down, as team members check out mentally. The teams are performing at maximum capacity with little or zero guidance needed. Although members may support each other, there are still chances of conflicts arising at this stage. The Forming–Storming–Norming–Performing model of group development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. But no matter what the reason teams are formed, they go through four stages, according to a 1965 research paper by Bruce Tuckman of the Naval Medical Research Institute at Bethesda.

team development stage

Keep in mind that no one person needs to be responsible for the team. Project management duties can be shared, with different members taking responsibilities for each stage of the project. When each of the five stages is carried through, your group will feel more in sync and be a high-functioning unit. No one is afraid to ask a question, bring up a concern, or pose a new way of going about certain tasks. Everyone can bring their whole self to the team, play to their strengths, and will step up and help one another when it’s needed. Fellow for EnterpriseSupport company leaders with Fellow’s uniform meeting templates, collaborative one-on-one meetings, and feedback tools.

Using the Stages of Team Development

Tuckman was a behavioral psychologist who came up with a team-building theory in 1965 – his research revealed that all groups followed a common four-stage pattern while developing teams. For years, industries have used Tuckman’s model to reach the desired results. Let’s look at the five stages of team development to unleash a team’s true potential. The first step in a team’s life is bringing together a group of individuals.

team development stage

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