The Five Stages of Team Development Principles of Management

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While you might be tempted to skip a stage, particularly the storming and adjoining phases, you shouldn’t. Every stage identified by psychologist Bruce Tuckman has a unique and critical purpose when it comes to team development. The more group activities your team does together, the more familiar everyone will become. When you look through our complete virtual happy hour guide, you’ll see that team activities include social occasions.

at which developmental stage of team building

Team effectiveness is enhanced by a team’s commitment to reflection and on-going evaluation. In addition to evaluating accomplishments in terms of meeting specific goals, for teams to be high-performing it is essential for them to understand their development as a team. Here your employees might need feedback regarding how team goals are achieved. So, activities that focus on improving planning skills would be good. Moreover, exercises that focus on improving adaptability and managing change are also needed.


This workshop involves brainstorming, discussion, and decision-making. It can be tough at times – I won’t lie – but the shared understanding you’ll build is worth powering through. Sounds great in theory, but putting it into practice can feel daunting. With a structured approach, you can improve your team’s performance at each stage of development. Communication in the Workplace Crossed wires and missed connections – good communication among teams is tablestakes for effective teamwork.

  • Lastly, teams should achieve the overall goals assigned to them.
  • The best time to improve is when you first discover a flaw.
  • During the initial stages, in particular, there’ll be lots of conflicts, disagreements, and a clash of personalities.
  • As teammates become increasingly familiar with each other, they may create nicknames for one another and develop “inside” jokes.

As a team member, you should introduce yourself, share your skills and interests, and listen to others’ perspectives and feedback. It involves a challenging yet critical transition from the laid-back forming stage. There’s a possibility of failure at the storming stage because it’s here that conflicts start to manifest. At the storming stage, members will start to feel comfortable around each other, share ideas, and learn how their colleagues operate in a team setting. 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.

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Remove obstacles by coordinating tightly with adjacent and upstream teams. Validate your assumptions about what your customers need, then proactively decide what you’re not doing right now so you don’t get distracted. When you start to sense that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing, you’ve made it into the “norming” stage.

at which developmental stage of team building

Since your group now has new decision-making and conflict resolution skills, your second go-around in storming will not be as difficult to work through. As conflict arises, people may start to lose faith in their team’s goals, group process, and purpose. In some cases, doubt in their team’s mission will cause people to stop working on their assigned project goals altogether, which can bring the group’s work to a screeching halt. A team leader normally arises during this first stage of the team-making process. At this point, team members often discuss their common goal and individual roles.

For these reasons, establishing lines of communication should be one of the first steps you should take when building your teams. When choosing your teammates, you should analyze your current team makeup and identify any gaps. Consider what you want your team to achieve and which abilities will help the team reach those goals. For example, the seven-member executive team at Whole Foods spends time together outside of work. Its members frequently socialize and even take group vacations.


The team development stages also acquaint members with each other’s talents and roles and prepare them for future leadership positions. If you’re a team leader, it’s best to remember that an overlap between the storming and norming stages may appear. 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.

at which developmental stage of team building

Once they are done, they can share it with the other members. At this point, explain how each team member is expected to help. For example, let the designers know that the user interface will be reviewed to see whether there’s an opportunity to make improvements. This is a new type of article that we started with the help of AI, and experts are taking it forward by sharing their thoughts directly into each section. Have productive meetings your team can be proud of with a clear meeting agenda for every event in your calendar. To run a great meeting, keep the team aligned, and the agenda short, specific, and action-oriented.

Tuckman asserted that each of these phases was necessary in order for a team to learn, grow, and deliver results of the highest quality. The 5 stages of team building might be familiar to you if you’re a business leader or manager. Bruce Tuckman and Jensen suggested five different stages of group development in 1977. These stages are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.

For your team to work collaboratively with few interruptions, they need tools that operate intuitively and will save them time. Find tools that don’t require hours of training and automate basic functions to get the job done. Before committing to a tool, give your team some time to work with it and test it out to make sure it fits their needs. Lots of tools offer free trials, so use that time to experiment and check its compatibility with other products you use. By starting with a free trial, you have the freedom to learn as much as possible about the product before committing to it.

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As a team leader, you should facilitate constructive communication, encourage collaboration and compromise, and resolve conflicts and issues. As a team member, you should respect different viewpoints, voice your thoughts and feelings, and support your teammates and leader. 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.

at which developmental stage of team building

Here you need to ask your teams to draw their dream workplace on a flipchart. The members should only communicate by writing, not verbally. In this activity, the participants need to plan a trip with the help of available resources.

Norming stage

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. However, the harmony is precarious, and if disagreements re-emerge the team can slide back into storming. The adjourning or mourning stage of team development is where the group parts ways.

Team building is an important part of success for any organization. You want a team that is productive, professional, and collaborative — but it won’t happen overnight. When a team is first formed, there can be uncertainty and even anxiety, but also excitement. This is normal, and is considered one of the stages of team building.

Stages of Team Development

For example, if you’re working cross-functionally, the individuals from one team are assigned the role of reporting back to their team what they’re working on. Another individual may be responsible for managing status updates. DACI (30-90 min) – The DACI framework helps you make group decisions efficiently and effectively. Some teams do come to an end, when their work is completed or when the organization’s needs change. While not part of Tuckman’s original model, it is important for any team to pay attention to the end or termination process.

Celebrate successes and improve on shortcomings

Differences among members are appreciated and used to enhance the team’s performance. In this article, let’s have a look at these stages along with some team building activities that you can try in each stage. By the end of the performing stage and just before the beginning of the final stage , teams should accomplish the following four key tasks.

Team Building Exercises for the Storming Stage

You can assess progress by asking for feedback from your team. Feel free to ask your team for recommendations for improvement. You should also ensure that your team has the means to communicate, especially if the team is remote. You can set up your teams with communication four stages of team development software such as Slack, Blink, or Asana, and provide additional contact information for all team members. 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.