The Tuckman Model Of Team Development

This leads to a period known as storming—because it can involve brainstorming ideas and also because it usually causes disruption. During the storming stage members begin to share ideas about what to do and how to do it that compete for consideration. Team members start to open up and confront one another’s ideas and perspectives. The team also needs to be trained in how to resolve its inevitable conflicts during the storming phase of the Tuckman Model.

  • The leader will coach the team, encouraging the participation of the different workers, but within the boundaries of a climate of dialogue and assertiveness, which enriches the group.
  • Remember that no matter what, problems and conflict can still emerge, but they’re handled and dealt with in a constructive and honest manner.
  • How is it possible to have a very high fun factor when the stress and workload are also high?
  • In 1965, American educational psychological researcher Bruce Wayne Tuckman published Tuckman’s Stages as a way to improve teamwork and enhance company efficiency.
  • In this stage, the team comes together for the first time, and members get to know each other.

For instance, if a team comes to you and reports that a team member missed the last 3 team meetings, you can reference the team’s contract to help determine how to deal with this student. The adjourning stage marks the end of the group’s relationship, says Tuckman. This is a bittersweet moment because teams disband and go their separate ways. Nonetheless, the adjourning stage marks the successful completion of a project or task, which is a major accomplishment for team or group members. Hard work goes hand in hand with satisfaction about the team’s progress.

Norming, The Third Stage Of Team Development:

All good things must come to an end, and at a certain point, the project will wrap up. Leading a team can be a challenge, especially when there’s a big project and tight deadlines. Understanding the lifecycle of a team, however, can help you keep your team productive and happy. After all, their ability to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals is a reflection of a management job well done. This is indicated through the project stage which is either completed or very nearly there. How they trust each other to remain accountable for their tasks without dropping the ball.

As members begin to know and identify with one another, the trust that individuals place in their colleagues fosters cohesion within the team. While these four stages—forming, storming, norming, and performing—are distinct and generally sequential, they often blend into one another and even overlap. what are the four stages of team development For example, if a new member joins the team, there may be a second brief period of formation while that person is integrated. A team may also need to return to an earlier stage if its performance declines. Team-building exercises are often done to help a team through its development process.


The team will use its knowledge of conflict resolution to come up with agreements and rules for the norming phase of the model. Unless, of course, your team is sticking together, as you all will continue to work at the same company. That said, holding a retrospective meeting to analyze the team’s collective performance after the conclusion of a project is always valuable. Greater team cohesion means members can rely on each other to complete work and provide feedback in order to continually improve. They are starting to trust each other, which means increased productivity and effective decision making. During this period of high creativity, it’s important that team members have periods of time in their day where they can focus completely on their tasks, and not be interrupted by meetings.

How did you know what behaviors were acceptable or what level of performance was required? Teams usually develop norms that guide the activities of team members. Team norms set a standard for behavior, attitude, and performance that all team members are expected to follow.

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. However, the harmony is precarious, and if disagreements re-emerge the team can slide back into storming. An early and durable model is the Tuckman model of team development.

When this happens, it’s important to take stock of what your team needs. This gives them an opportunity to recognize their abilities as well as those of their teammates. They feel confident and comfortable when approaching you with concerns and questions. These can be among team members, or from employees who come to you directly. You recognize this isn’t any one team member’s fault, but you want to make it right.

The adjourning stage is an important way of providing closure, and it can help team members successfully move on to the next work project or team with the sense of a job well done. Team progress according to Bruce Tuckman passes through the stages shown in the diagram below. Most high performing teams go through these five stages of team development.

The business world has also acknowledged the benefits of increased productivity from cohesive teams. That simply arranging people into a formal hierarchy does not necessarily lead to the strongest or most efficient teams. Successfully moving through the storming stage means that a team has clarified its purpose and its strategy for achieving its goals. It now transitions to a period focused on developing shared values about how team members will work together.

Communication is flowing in all directions, everyone is engaged, and it looks like they will meet the launch date originally set by Mr. Marcus at the first meeting. The cost of the Banisher is within the profit target, and production has assured everyone that they can produce the required number of Banisher canisters. Team or group members meet during the forming stage to discuss the project at hand. This is where the leader of the group introduces himself to the team, and other team members also get to know each other.

In the performing stage, consensus and cooperation have been well-established and the team is mature, organized, and well-functioning. There is a clear and stable structure, and members are committed to the team’s mission. Problems and conflicts still emerge, but they are dealt with constructively. The unlikelihood of a coincidence led to my discovery of Tuckman’s 5 stages of group development theory.

Why Are The 5 Stages Of Group Development Important?

That can only happen if a solid foundation gets laid and communication channels are kept open. Navigating through the five stages of group development isn’t a walk in the park. During the initial stages, in particular, there’ll be lots of conflicts, disagreements, and a clash of personalities. This is expected when people with different perspectives come together to work towards a common goal.

By this stage, the team has started to figure out how to work together. Conflicts have largely been squashed as team members grow more used to each other and appreciative of one another’s unique skills. The manager or team leader has earned respect, and the project goal and way forward is clear.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Team Decisions

The next project can always be better than the last, and we can always be better than we were yesterday. 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. 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. This is because your team recognizes how they can trust you and each other in order to complete tasks, move towards their objectives and rely on each other for help. Our discussion so far has focused mostly on a team as an entity, not on the individuals inside the team.

Color Coding calendars is a great way for members to block time effectively, and plan their day at a glance. Clockwise automates the process of Color Coding by allowing you to assign different colors to types of tasks, eliminating the need to manually change colors every time you schedule a new task. The performing stage of development is the ideal stage that teams strive for.

Over the years, I have worked with many teams and have found theses stages to be very predictable. In this stage of team development, instead of asking questions, team members are simply making demands. I think John should do this and Sally should do that.” Have you ever heard this? A significant point about the storming phase is that sub-groups develop and petty conflict begins to occur. Once norms are established and the team is functioning as a unit, it enters the performing stage.

Find A Mentor In Project Management

This means they understand how to work together in a cohesive way that helps them reach their goals. Such conflicts can hinder progress and even grind everything to a halt. Thankfully, you can deploy some strategies to ensure your team navigates the stages without issues. For instance, outlining the team’s purpose and mission at the forming stage and retaliating during subsequent stages ensures no one loses sight of the common goal. Here, there’s cohesion, trust, and understanding among team members.

It complements the first question (“What am I good at?”) but is geared toward the project or team objectives. For example, you can work on backend development or you can write copy for the website, etc. But first, let’s touch more on how team members grow to develop bonds with each other. This is where the Tuckman Model of team development comes in handy. On new teams, it is improbable that people have bonded well enough to understand how to resolve differences amicably. The team’s productivity starts to rise as they bond towards a goal.

A member who asserts authority or is knowledgeable may be looked to take control. Team members are asking such questions as “What does the team offer me? 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. These are all valid answers since it’s what you as an individual deem important for your work life. Seek first to understand and encourage everyone on the team to take the same approach.

The last thing you want to experience is team members who de-value one another or collectively fall behind. It’s up to you to provide clarity, ensure team alignment and employee motivation. Engagement Get to know your people with Pulse Surveys, eNPS scoring, anonymous feedback and messaging.


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