This also helps team leaders to anticipate risks and issues as their teams complete a project. A team will successfully complete the project if they follow the steps as they are laid out. Leaders of a team in the Forming stage have a lot of responsibility in helping the team come together.

what are the four stages of a developing team

As a manager, you’re now familiar with the 5 stages of group development, but your team likely isn’t. ” During this chaotic stage, a great deal of creative energy that was previously buried is released and available for use, but it takes skill to move the group from storming to norming. A group is a collection of individuals who interact with each other such that one person’s actions have an impact on the others. As you communicate with them you notice how confidently they articulate their ideas. You book 1-on-1 meetings with team members to learn about each of their experiences. As you do this, you recognize clear and consistent points with each team member and the benefits of hosting a team retrospective.

Given these conflicting feelings, individual and team morale may rise or fall throughout the ending stage. It is highly likely that at any given moment individuals on the team will be experiencing different emotions about the team’s ending. However, when teams reach the Performing stage, they do not necessarily stay there. Teams can often cycle back through, especially if conflicts arise, sending them back to Storming. If teams want to stay in the Performing stage, they have to continuously work on building trust and improving communication.

Scenario: You’re leading your team through the forming stage

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  • While remote teams may be just as productive as a team sharing an office space, it can be more difficult to facilitate cohesion and build rapport between team members.
  • They’ll look to you for guidance and support, and when you establish a trusting two-way conversation, you’ll pave the way towards their professional growth.
  • Your returning players are a year older and your new freshmen and/or transfers are trying to figure out what is going on.
  • The Performing Stage coach can now truly empower the team to set its goals and make its own decisions.

Finally, share the project roadmap so the team can see the starting point, the proposed check-in points, and the end goal. This gives them insight into the bigger goal but also breaks down the timeline into smaller increments. This is the general approach to forming a successful work team. Success is usually hinged on taking all of the steps just discussed. We have a tendency to want to surround ourselves with people who are just like us.

It is a period marked by conflict and competition as individual personalities emerge. Team performance may actually decrease in this stage because energy is put into unproductive activities. Members may disagree on team goals, and subgroups and cliques may form around strong personalities or areas of agreement. To get through this stage, members must work to overcome obstacles, to accept individual differences, and to work through conflicting ideas on team tasks and goals. Failure to address conflicts may result in long-term problems.

And sometimes the storming stage seems to last for much longer than is necessary. Keep to the project’s timeline and keep referring to the organizational tools you’ve developed. The stages of group development in organizational behavior and management are a theory of team development — a group-forming model that consists of 5 distinct stages. The team seamlessly trusts, collaborates with, and supports one another. In the adjourning stage, most of the team’s goals have been accomplished.

Four development stages of a highly effective team

So, in addition to the work tasks, all the other activities related to the functioning of the team need to be divided out and assigned. The high cost of context switching and what to do instead Learn what context switching is, the cost of multitasking, and what you can do to prevent context switching at work. The honeymoon phase ends as people try to figure out how they fit in.

Taking into consideration that team’s dedication to self-reflection and ongoing assessment improves team effectiveness, the forming storming norming performing method is discussed above. It develops the team’s social awareness and the work efficiency of each member of the organization. We hope that Tuckman’s model of group development will help you to ensure that all team’s goals, objectives, and expectations are met. For more interesting articles like this, keep tuned on GitMind blogs.


For example, “Do just enough to get by,” “Every person for themselves,” “Coach plays favorites,” are all norms and attitudes that have prevented teams from reaching their potential. Teams with poor standards continually keep themselves from progressing. Download a spreadsheet with each of the characteristics you can observe at each stage of the forming, storming, norming and performing process. Deborah Mackin is founder and president of New Directions Consulting, Inc. and author of teambuilding books, including the 2nd edition of the Team Building Tool Kit . As an international consultant and trainer for 20+ years, Deborah is a widely recognized authority on teams, quality service, productivity, and leadership.

what are the four stages of a developing team

When teams work in the same space, it’s easy to see what everyone’s doing. Designers are talking to product managers to get direction, or product managers meet with analysts to talk about user data and reports. It’s different for remote marketing teams because you can’t see what people are working on. When your marketing team is remote, you can hire the most talented people regardless of where they’re located geographically. But you have to find a way to make sure team members are aligned and on the same page.

Signs and questions to look out for in the forming stage

This is also the time for team members to reflect on the project and say their good-byes. Initially, Tuckman identified four stages of group development, which included the stages of forming, storming, norming and performing. A fifth stage was later added by Tuckman four stages of team building about ten years later, which is called adjourning. 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.

At the end of the project, set up an online meeting where team members come together to discuss the entire project, from the successes to the frustrations. Ask them to prepare examples beforehand outlining what worked and what didn’t, and then give each person five minutes to share their thoughts. Document the comments so that it’s easy to see which trends emerge and what changes need to be made going forward.

Using the Stages of Team Development

Roles on the team may have become more fluid, with members taking on various roles and responsibilities as needed. Differences among members are appreciated and used to enhance the team’s performance. If you have ever been on a team, you’ve probably seen its fair share of ups and downs.

Discover all templates Made to solve challenges quickly and build stronger relationships with your team. An effective team needs to have an effective leader and that’s where it begins. It’s easy for everyone — including you — to get in a tunnel and focus on their own lists of tasks. Make sure everyone steps back each day or week to take a look at the larger picture.

The 4 Stages of Team Development

The norming stage is more harmonious since teams understand why it’s important to ask for help, and how to come to you with questions when they need guidance. It’s the time where your team learns about upcoming projects and structures. Here, it’s typical for teammates to feel excited, anxious, and curious about what lies ahead. To properly and clearly identify these in group form, we use the 4 stages of team development.

In addition to handling conflicts, you’ll need to determine workflows, follow them, and constantly tweak and improve them as you go along. If they are on the team, perhaps they wanted to learn something else. Team participants start to challenge things and often they will challenge the leader. An organization’s working process involves an important factor which is known as teamwork. Teamwork is a collaborative effort or a group to achieve a task or a goal in an effective and efficient way.

Tuckman identified four stages of team development, including Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. 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.

At this point, there should be fewer arguments between teammates because everyone understands their role on the team. In this situation, it is often best to intentionally shake your team up and move them back into the Storming stage. This is where you as a coach challenge their attitudes, work ethics and standards because you recognize that they are actually hurting the team. Your goal is to get them to recognize their behavior and how it runs counter to the goals that they have set.

Team leaders and managers need to understand how teams mature and when to intervene when things are not progressing as desired. This Teamwork Observation Check List (√) is designed to help observe a team to determine how they are maturing, where some problems might exits, and some tips to overcome them. During the Ending Stage, some team members may become less focussed on the team’s tasks and their productivity may drop. Alternatively, some team members may find focussing on the task at hand is an effective response to their sadness or sense of loss. Team members are able to prevent or solve problems in the team’s process or in the team’s progress. A “can do” attitude is visible as are offers to assist one another.

Four Stages of Team Development

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