There’s a clear and stable structure in place throughout the group and everyone is fully committed to achieving the goals put in place. In the performing stage, there’s a sense of focus, purpose, and alignment from everyone on the team, no matter their role. By gaining a better understanding of the 5 stages of team development, you should have the tools you need to help your team collaborate more efficiently and productively. The goal of Bruce Tuckman’s Stages model was to help project leaders understand how their team members were building relationships together.
Team members remain happy and loyal towards to group’s function, and they are quickly approaching the completion of the group’s goal. The team is free of conflict, members trust each other, and productivity is at an all-time high. Despite initial struggles within the group, the marketing team successfully completes their goal two weeks ahead of schedule. Stage two of five is considered the most critical but also the most difficult to go through. It can be riddled with conflict as the individual personalities and work styles clash within the team.
A sense of community is established, and the group remains focused on the group’s purpose and goal. The forming stage represents a time where the group is just getting started and coming together and is characterized with anxiety and uncertainty. Members are cautious with their behavior and avoid conflict, controversy and personal opinions. The focus for group members during the forming stage is to become familiar with each other and their purpose. Even though these individuals stay quiet, issues may still exist.
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. This way, you can prepare for conversations that build trust while supporting your team and leading through each team development stage.
The addition of some implementers to the team is also a good idea to make plans for progress and team development. Finally, a resource investigators is needed to go outside of team and look at competition. The team will begin to resolve their interpersonal differences, appreciate others and form working relationships. There is a sense of cohesion and unity and this allows for the team to work functionally together towards the end goal. At this point, performance increase as the team begins to cooperate and focus on the goals.
Unfortunately the Performing stage is not a guaranteed aspect of your season. Performing requires that your team has constructively handled the conflict of the Storming stage. You will know your team has made it out of the storm and into the norm when the clouds of discontent and conflict have cleared. Relationships should have improved, disagreements caused by differences in behavioral styles clarified and interactions should be respectful.
Group work is often critical to the success of a larger operation or organizational goal within a business. Groups provide a business with multiple levels of insight and excel from the strengths that each member of the group maintains. However, groups are not meant to be completely successful from the time of their conception.
Stage 2: Storming People Start Butting Heads
As with any new situation, most people are on their best behavior. They are polite and a little reserved and may not share their true feelings or concerns. Trying to figure out how they fit into the situation can cause anxiety. It can be hard to let go, but great teammates never assume that someone else will handle a problem or catch a mistake. The scientific term is “social loafing,” and it’s a possibility for even high-performing teams when people get siloed into their specific responsibilities.
- Their working styles and skills complement one another, and they rely on the each other to perform tasks more efficiently.
- They may feel sadness or a sense of loss about the changes coming to their team relationships.
- The forming stage represents a time where the group is just getting started and coming together and is characterized with anxiety and uncertainty.
- The fourth stage of team development is usually where teams reach their peak performance.
- Ideally, the end of this phase is the successful completion of the project.
- Finally you are able to begin sharing responsibility with other team members.
This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control. Some teams will never develop past this stage; however, disagreements within the team can make members stronger, more versatile, and able to work more effectively together. Supervisors during this phase may be more accessible, but tend to remain directive in their guidance of decision-making and professional behaviour. The team members will therefore resolve their differences and members will be able to participate with one another more comfortably. The ideal is that they will not feel that they are being judged, and will therefore share their opinions and views.
Group members may compete with each other for areas of responsibility and/or specific tasks. There can also be conflict about the goals and objectives of the project . For those group members who have previously worked together, formerly unresolved issues may even arise.
Stages Of Team Development
But, it is important to remember that most teams experience conflict. If you are the leader, remind members that disagreements are normal. But, because this stage focuses more on the people than on the work, your team probably won’t be very productive yet. (Although, https://globalcloudteam.com/ it does make the stages easier to remember.) Each is aptly named and plays a vital part in building a high-functioning team. Use personality tests, such as the ones outlined in the article, to aid the understanding of each others personality and work styles.
This view makes it easy to spot any bottlenecks and the drag-and-drop functionality means you can swiftly move tasks around to adjust your team’s workload. You can add tasks to your project via Project.co so that everyone on your team knows what they are required to do. There are a few things you can do to reduce the intensity and duration of your storms. One way is to touch base with your team regularly through short stand up meetings. Failure to address problems here can result in long-term issues, but once this stage is passed through successfully, things will get easier.
Creating a closing celebration that acknowledges the contributions of individuals and the accomplishments of the team and that formally ends this particular team’s existence. If you are putting together a team to work on a project then it can be helpful to have an idea of what to expect. Tuckman’s Theory gives a solid idea of what most teams go through.
This is where it’s important to level with individual contributors and truly get to know what’s going on. This is a great time to reflect on what makes a high-performing team able to accomplish tasks and move through obstacles. Every team moves through the four stages of development, and may slip back a stage or two as new challenges or opportunities arise. Being resilient, laying aside ego and working together will allow the team to meet the challenges and emerge stronger than when they started.
Although forming, storming, norming, and performing takes teams on the journey to high performance, team development is not a linear process. As new elements are added or subtracted, the dynamic four stages of team formation is altered. After the team members have moved past the forming, storming, and norming stages of group development, they can finally produce work and rely on team members for support.
Rina reports that things have settled down and she feels like the team is working well together. She says that she met with each team member individually and explained their role in the project and gave them a chance to share any concerns they had. After the individual meetings, she had Jada from human resources come to a team meeting and conduct some team-building exercises and engaging teamwork activities. The result of the session with Jada was a Bug Banisher Team vision statement that everyone agreed upon. While these four stages—forming, storming, norming, and performing—are distinct and generally sequential, they often blend into one another and even overlap.
Navigate The Stages Of Team Development
The interventions we prescribe will depend on our findings during the assessment. In the Forming stage, group members are focused on getting to know each other, learning more about what will be involved, and avoiding conflict. At this stage, the group is highly dependent on the leader to answer their questions about the group’s purpose and provide direction. A deadline is missed, a launch doesn’t go as planned, or maybe it’s just that the workloads are heavy and it’s been too long since the last long weekend. Some team members may no longer be enthusiastic about all of the goals set out at the forming stage.
Depending on the personalities and experiences of its members, a team may be able to absorb new elements with less friction. Teams can move forward and backward in the group development cycle, and even remain stranded in a less developed stage (yikes!). Now that the team is past the introductory stage, personalities can start to conflict due to differing opinions and approaches. Team members will begin to question things such as responsibilities, rules, and criteria for success. This can make team members uncomfortable to a point where isolation can occur and the team can fall apart.
Just because your team is grooving, you shouldn’t stop investing attention into team development. It’s always possible to revert back to an earlier stage when factors change, or a team member withdraws from the group effort for personal or interpersonal reasons. At this initial stage, the team is essentially a collection of individuals beginning to think about the project and the role they’ll fill. Each person is operating from their personal vantage point, focused on the “what’s in it for me” reasons for joining the team.
Your participation should be much more focused on how the team is tackling problems rather than solving the problems for them. You will still raise issues, ask questions, and challenge approaches, but more to validate the team’s conclusion than to drive it. Leadership belongs to everyone on the team, and the team owns its results. As a leader, it’s important to know where your team is and how you can help them move through to the next stage of development.
Likewise, a strategic pivot for the company sends your team back to the “storming” phase. Sometimes also called the termination, mourning, or ending stage, most, if not all, of the goals of the team have been accomplished. The project as a whole is being wrapped up and final tasks and documentation are completed. As the workload becomes smaller, it’s common for team members to be taken off the assignment and delegated to a new project. The team members also usually debrief and discuss what went well and what could be improved on for projects in the future. Next up is the performing stage, which tends to be where there is the most cohesive work environment, people are happy and excited, and team performance is at an all-time high.
Make sure you schedule the meeting at a time that’s as close to business hours as possible in each time zone. This is also a good time to clarify which times zones everyone works in so people don’t have to wait an entire day for an answer to important questions. Timothy Biggs suggested that an additional stage be added of “norming” after “forming” and renaming the traditional norming stage “re-norming”. They eventually agree on some team norms and find a way to collaborate.