5 Stages of Team Development including Examples

Initially, on the first day, you are eager and excited to start and contribute your own quota to the development of the department and the organization as a whole. In this storming stage, team members begin to take note of their differences which most times leads to dissatisfaction with each other. As the team leader, you can organize an introduction event in which the only goal of the event would be for team members to get familiar with each other. Whether from different departments or from a single department in the organization, team members come together and unite for a common goal. If group members are able to evolve to stage four, their capacity, range, and depth of personal relations expand to true interdependence. In this stage, people can work independently, in subgroups, or as a total unit with equal competencies.

As team members start working together there will be interpersonal and technical challenges and differences in opinions, working styles and personalities. Storming can be a difficult to manage part of the process, as it’s often where conflict, differences of opinion, and accepted norms can be challenged. At this stage, the group may begin to understand the largeness of a project or task at hand and become disheartened.

stages of team development

Team members are asked for their input on their day-to-day activities e.g. productivity, quality, service ect. When you download the matrix, it will give you an obvious tool to help you understand the specific behaviors you want the team to use to progress through to self-empowerment. For example, you can organize a celebration party where the team members can celebrate the team’s achievement and reflect on the past activities in the team. But apart from the sadness, they also feel anxious about what they should expect in the future, especially in the organization.

Stage Four – Self-Reliant – (The Delegating Leader)

This is the ultimate result or stage that any team leader would want his or her team to achieve. The Team Leader still holds the decision-making power (or managers’ higher up do) on anything that costs money, affects any policies or requires any significant change. The team leader listens to team member suggestions, and complaints and often uses the team input in his/her decision-making.

  • A workshop to review team priorities and made choices about what to focus on individually and collectively.
  • In addition to handling conflicts, you’ll need to determine workflows, follow them, and constantly tweak and improve them as you go along.
  • At this stage, the group may begin to understand the largeness of a project or task at hand and become disheartened.
  • A general idea of what types of vegetables they could grow is forming and includes tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, and peppers.

A team’s performance is at peak capacity at this stage because everyone has learned to identify and leverage each other’s strengths for the common good. During the forming stage, team members are often optimistic and enthusiastic about getting started. The apprehensive behavior usually arises because members are unsure about the project goals and their roles. However, once that’s explained, they’ll adjust to the roles that await them. On their part, members should learn how to organize their responsibilities.

Forming is the first stage of Tuckman’s theory of communication, also known as the five stages of the group development model. In this stage, the group becomes oriented to the task, creates ground rules, and tests the boundaries for interpersonal and task behaviours. This is also the stage in which group members establish relationships with leaders, organizational standards, and each other.

What is the adjourning stage of team development?

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. 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. It’s also a great way of reinforcing how far you’ve come as a group and to celebrate how you’ve grown. By documenting the individual and group responses, you can begin to chart how attitudes have changed and improved and thus understand how you can do so again in the future. This is where groups begin to settle into a working pattern, appreciate one another’s strengths and become more effective as a team.

stages of team development

If teams get through the storming stage, conflict is resolved and some degree of unity emerges. In the norming stage, consensus develops around who the leader or leaders are, and individual member’s roles. Interpersonal differences begin to be resolved, and a sense of cohesion and unity emerges. Team performance increases during this stage as members learn to cooperate and begin to focus on team goals.

tips on how to facilitate proper group development

They start to work through their differences and come up with solutions that benefit each other. They eventually start to understand roles and responsibilities, how each person works best and how they can support one another’s efforts toward a common goal. Team members tend to be more polite during this stage since they’re learning how to work together effectively. But, there’s still a tendency to revert to their old behaviors when under stress or pressure. The interaction and communication also become open and this leads to better interactions.

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The team is flexible as individuals adapt to meet the needs of other team members. This stage begins to occur as the process of organizing tasks and processes surface interpersonal conflicts. The initial forming stage is the process of putting stages of team development the structure of the team together. Team members feel ambiguous and conflict is avoided at all costs due to the need to be accepted into the group. Team members look to a group leader for direction and guidance, usually CORAL project guides.

Common Characteristic of the Storming Stage

However, the harmony is precarious, and if disagreements re-emerge the team can slide back into storming. It’s also known as the transforming process and happens after the team accomplishes what it set out to do. Afterward, it starts to dismantle itself in readiness for other tasks. Mourning because team members are paring after forging deep relationships during the project and celebration for a job well done. Self-assessment is an important part of the team development process and using a structured framework can help ensure a productive conversation that doesn’t overspill or create further conflict. The learnings from this activity can then be used to resolve issues, strengthen the group and help move the team from Norming to Performing.

stages of team development

Get the tools you need to assess team member development against specific functions like Safety, Giving Performance Feedback, Managing Team Performance. They are the support you need to create the superstructure of a self-reliant, empowered, team-based, high-performance organization. Like teenagers, sometimes team members want more authority and freedom than they are necessarily ready for, or the leadership team is necessarily ready, , to pass over. However, note that there are also some rare occasions where the team might not have completed its projects successfully and still move on to this stage.

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Key actions to support Norming

To do this, encourage your team members to engage in constant communication with one another. It is generally known and accepted that no two individuals are exactly alike no matter how similar they might look. Instead, they concentrate on the negative feelings https://globalcloudteam.com/ they have towards each other and the team at large. Team members exhibit various types of negative emotions as opposed to the positive emotions they felt in the forming stage. Failure to manage the storms successfully can lead to disastrous effects.

stages of team development

As such, it’s vital you document learning points and strategies that have worked for you and your team while Performing so you can apply them again in the future. To truly get to know your colleagues and build strong relationships requires honest self-appraisal, deeper sharing, and clear communication. This activity is a great way of quickly and efficiently helping a team share themselves with the group and go beyond the scope of some standard activities. Tuckman’s five stages of group development are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. It is one of the appropriate theories for explaining the behaviour of group members with dynamic characteristics. Additionally, a perfect theory to describe how the group members adjust and adapt in a group gradually.

The skills of each member are fully optimized, supervision is almost never needed, and members feel a strong sense of trust in one another. Storming is the most difficult and unproductive of the five stages of development, but it is nevertheless vital to the team development process. When team members are upset with themselves, the task, or each other, they learn what causes the most dysfunction.

Offer constructive feedback

However, this style of leadership is found to be not so effective in building a high-performance team. You have done a good job if you can manage your team successfully to reach this last stage of team development. The adjourning stage is also known as the mourning or termination stage of team development. All the stages of team development begin with a single stage and that is the forming stage. The final stage, adjourning, involves the termination of task behaviors and disengagement from relationships. A planned conclusion usually includes recognition for participation and achievement and an opportunity for members to say personal goodbyes.

Team development stages

Team Tasks during the Storming stage of development call for the team to refocus on its goals, perhaps breaking larger goals down into smaller, achievable steps. The team may need to develop both task-related skills and group process and conflict management skills. A redefinition of the team’s goals, roles and tasks can help team members past the frustration or confusion they experience during the Storming stage. You might start a new project and mix up your team make-up or try new things that result in some conflicts in perspective but also allow your team to grow. While it’s important to accept that remaining exclusively in the Performing stage – particularly for long-serving teams – is unrealistic, it’s also worth remembering that this is the ideal state.


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People begin sharing ideas and differing opinions come to light, which can result in clashes. In Tuckman’s original 1965 paper, 50% of teams actually jumped directly from stage 1 to stage 3, but for those that did not, the duration and intensity of the “storms” were varied. If your team is all in one place, then a face-to-face kick off meeting is a great way to get things moving. If your team is spread out, you can still have a very successful kick off meeting with video conferencing. And in 1977, he added a fifth stage to cover the breaking apart of a team at the end of a project. Find time with an Assembly employee recognition expert to help get you started, today.

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. As the real work starts during the storming stage, interpersonal and technical challenges will appear.

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