- 5 Stages of Team Development Complete Guide
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. The norming stage is when the entire team starts to work as a cohesive unit. By now, team members have figured out a strategy for working together. The internal competitions prevalent at the storming stage have been rooted out. As a result, the team works more efficiently because members understand what’s expected of them and know how to share their ideas and seek feedback.
You start getting comfortable with one another as time goes by. You begin to understand each team member’s strengths, delegating tasks and coordinating with each other. You start operating as a team rather than a group of individuals as a result of this.
Share This Book
Make sure your team has all the resources they need to be successful. The Performing stage is marked by high productivity and efficiency. The team is able to churn out high-quality work at a fast pace. This is the stage where you will see the team taking ownership of their work and truly becoming a cohesive unit. Allow the team members to brainstorm and come up with ideas on their own.
The forming stage is truly a honeymoon phase in teamwork—productivity is low, but the team members are too newly acquainted to encounter conflict. Ultimately, undergoing the five stages of team development sets your team up for success. There will be a higher chance of realizing the project goals within the timelines set at the forming stage. At the adjourning stage, team members will be eager to collaborate again on other projects. Performing is where the team members have learned to efficiently coordinate and resolve conflicts. In the storming and adjourning stage conflicts might occur and they are something very common within teams.
The Tuckman model has been around for a long time, and that means there have been plenty of opportunities to test it. Decades of psychological research have affirmed the effectiveness of the 5 stages of team development, and organizations continue to find value almost 60 years after its creation. By far, well-oiled teams are more effective than any single individual could ever be. They’re better able to complete large-scale, complex tasks; they can pool ideas and build upon them; and they utilize resources much more efficiently. All of this helps drive productivity, efficiency and innovation in an era that demands quickness and adaptability in the face of change.
The fundamentals of the 5 stages of team development
Take the time to reflect on your achievements and remind your team why they’re doing what they do. This is also a great opportunity to recognize and praise the talents of specific team members. One of those rules can be to remember to always listen to one another. No question is stupid, no idea is too silly to bring up, and no one is too “senior” to ask for help. 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.
As the name suggests, team development entails training and supporting a group of individuals so that they work as a cohesive unit to realize the intended outcome. An excellent example of team development is when colleagues from different departments partner to work on a project. Getting everyone on the same wavelength sounds easy on paper, but that isn’t the case.
However, there are some strategies you can do to help your team advance through the five stages with minimal conflict. For your team to be as successful and as high-performing as possible, it’s important that all five stages are utilized to their fullest potential. You may feel like you can skip the first or the last, but each stage has a purpose. Once their efforts are under way, team members need clarity about their activities and goals, as well as explicit guidance about how they will work independently and collectively. This leads to a period known as storming—because it can involve brainstorming ideas and also because it usually causes disruption.
Track team time with Toggl Track
The stage of group development when the team clarifies its goals and its strategy for achieving them. If powerful superhero and entrepreneur teams have taught us anything, it is that working with others can increase your strength and success. There are other advantages to tracking your time with an app though. 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 to complete the current project.
Members attempt to become oriented to the tasks as well as to one another. This is also the stage in which group members test boundaries, create ground rules, and define organizational standards. Discussion centers on defining the scope of the task, how to approach it, and similar concerns. To grow from this stage to the next, each member must relinquish the comfort of non-threatening topics and risk the possibility of conflict. These changes also mean that managers must reevaluate how they enable team development.
The team misses deadlines and deliverables, places an undue burden on the team leader as the sole source of discipline. Ego and status can lead to team members focusing on their individual accomplishments instead of the common purpose. Table 1 below summarizes the qualities and obstacles of effective team work. A fundamental component of both Human Resources Management and Project Management is the development of high-performing teams. Building teams that are cohesive, goal-focused, and possess both specialized and complementary skills to fall under the domain of both professions (Abudi, 2020; SHRM, n.d.). Also, Human Resources supports employees through team conflicts and mediates between management and workers which is an essential part of the Storming stage (Developing and Sustaining, n.d.).
Building Team Cohesion: Why It’s Crucial
In CORAL, the real value is in recognizing where a team is in the developmental stage process, and assisting the team to enter a stage consistent with the collaborative work put forth. In the real world, teams are often forming and changing, and each time that happens, they can move to a different Tuckman Stage. A group might be happily Norming or Performing, but a new member might force them back into Storming, or a team member may miss meetings causing the team to fall back into Storming.
Very few team members will have your perspective on the entire project (or the full scope of your team’s segment of the project), so don’t be afraid to jump in. When you do find a good solution or process to help resolve difficult situations, make sure you document those immediately. The team can consult this record when future problems arise and make adaptations as needed. Your teams will soon learn that conflict is not to be feared, and that they have the tools to find a productive compromise. To accommodate your remote teams and to make sure your first project team meeting is productive, use a video conferencing platform like Zoom. This way team members can meet from anywhere and share their screen so that everyone can see the project details simultaneously.
- Continue creating opportunities for collaboration and teamwork to maximize the creativity and camaraderie present at this stage.
- The leader of the team will then describe the tasks to the group, describe the different behaviours to the group and how to deal and handle complaints.
- It’s an ideal state for any manager to witness their team’s growth and ask reflective questions.
- There’s a possibility of failure at the storming stage because it’s here that conflicts start to manifest.
- They feel confident and comfortable when approaching you with concerns and questions.
This is demonstrated through high morale, productivity and engagement. It’s an ideal state for any manager to witness their team’s growth and ask reflective questions. Your team needs to communicate clearly and, rely on one another rather than turn on each other. This is a crucial point in team development where leaders can pinpoint bottlenecks, areas of improvement and couple them with team strengths to build forward momentum.
Members have an increased desire for structural clarification and commitment. Some leaders don’t have the requisite skills needed to fulfill their responsibilities, and that’s where leadership development coaching can play an important role. Forming is a period of testing and orientation in which members learn about each other and evaluate the benefits and costs of continued membership. People tend to be polite, will defer to authority, and try to find out what is expected of them and how they will fit into the team (McShane et al., 2018, p. 232). In project management, the Tuckman Ladder is referenced and used extensively by project managers to help them assemble and guide teams toward success. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision.
Behaviors that Promote and Hinder Teams Work
In the Norming stage, Human Resources professionals work to offer continual support to employees, facilitate discussions, and provide needed training (Developing and Sustaining, n.d.). During the Performing stage, all team members are working at an optimal level. Skills of team building are essential for every manager and leader. It is important for the team leader to take them through team creation stages and move to productive stage. In the productive stage team members complement each other’s skills and efforts to achieve common goals.
Building and Leading Teams
HR is important in this stage, since they may need to be called upon to settle disputes and assist the team. Norming is a great stage for a team, since many barriers will have been broken down and the team can really start working in harmony. Encourage all ideas and provide positive feedback when an idea is presented. Come prepared with relevant and fun questions to get people talking and learning about one another.
Principles of Management
This model explains how the team develops maturity and ability, establishes relationships among the members, and the changes of the leader when it comes to the leadership styles. It begins with a directing style, then to coaching and participation and in the finishing stage, the delegation stage (Bruce Tuckman’s 1965, n.d.). Tuckman’s model is an explanation and understanding of how a team develops. As well, it helps to train people in group work enabling them to accomplish their full potential (Bruce Tuckman’s 1965, n.d.). The individual strengths each member brings establishes a sense of teamwork, as everybody plays a part. If you notice a few team members not participating, the easiest thing to do is to prompt them for their thoughts and ideas.
One on one meetings are key during this stage, as it’s important that each team member has a space to vent, air grievances, and work through any initial frustrations. It’s up to managers to provide this space and hear each team member out, whether in person or virtually. At the end of the project, the team will begin to wrap up their tasks and start to disband and move onto other projects. Although norming is a calm stage of team development, there are still things that you can and should do to help things run more smoothly. It can be tempting to avoid conflict, but doing so doesn’t help team building. A team that works together to resolve issues will trust each other more.