Using The Stages Of Team Development

‘Team-building’ and ‘Team Development’ are often used interchangeably. And while they both involve bringing people together, they are different in their aims, strategies, and outcomes. Interns prepare reports on their experiences, highlighting the best and worst tasks. The facilitator also reports the general overview of interns’ performances, aspects they need to improve, and areas to keep up the good work. This stage aims to acknowledge accomplishments while bringing closure to the team’s work.

Moving beyond initial hurdles, teammates acknowledge the common goal and focus on making significant progress. Experts occasionally refer to the process as Tuckman’s stages of group development, the group development process, or the five stages of team building. Successfully navigating the storming phase leads naturally to norming, during which conflict begins to subside and a consensus around key issues emerges. Individuals accept and settle into their roles and demonstrate a greater willingness to collaborate with their colleagues. During this stage, the team develops a stronger group dynamic and sense of shared purpose, helping to drive productivity and effectiveness. Renowned psychologist Bruce Tuckman created an easily-understood model in 1965.

team growth stages

Members feel attached to the team as something “greater than the sum of its parts” and feel satisfaction in the team’s effectiveness. Members feel confident in their individual abilities and those of their teammates. Reaching the performing stage is a major success and often precipitates some form of team learning.

Group Development

Bruce Tuckman was a pioneer in group dynamics and developed the theory of team group development. A team sponsor is a person who provides the team team growth stages with the goal and the resources needed to accomplish that goal. Healthy teams foster creativity – a critical component to a thriving organization.

As you repeat this exercise over time, it’ll become higher fidelity and help your team see they’re making progress. You’ll clarify each person’s role, what they’re responsible for, and any other expectations team members have of each other. Chances are, you’ll uncover some false assumptions as well – especially if your team had been cruising along in the “norming” or “performing” stage until recently.

Take a cue from the Atlassian Team Playbook and make time for these three activities. Click the name of each activity below to get step-by-step instructions and other helpful resources like templates and videos. The Atlassian Playbook contains exercises to help teams work through each phase to promote more harmonious teamwork. American psychological researcher Bruce Tuckman developed the theory of Tuckman’s stages of group development in 1965.

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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. 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. Team members may feel a variety of concerns about the team’s impending dissolution.

They also need to streamline competition and ensure the projects they’re handling stay on track. And, when all is said and done, going through all five stages of team development sets the team up for success. There’s an increased chance of reaching the product goal within the timeline originally set during the forming stage. 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.

Why Are Virtual Team Building Events Beneficial?

Activities include; brainstorming sessions, meetings, and activities that highlight strengths and weaknesses. A helpful template in this stage is the Idea Management Portal to source ideas and prompt reflection and ideas. Management can take a small step back and encourage more team interaction, shared leadership, and collaboration. At this stage, the members are not yet used to each other and thus continue to behave independently.

If the team doesn’t have some form of the continuous improvement process, such improvements happen organically, but if it does — they progress faster. A surprise virtual Happy Hour is a great team-building option to boost morale and celebrate connection. Rockoly’s trained mixologists guide your team through mixology workshops, and cocktail creations, with the ingredients, delivered upfront. The ‘forming’ stage is the perfect opportunity to host a ‘getting to know you’ event, like a virtual wine tasting. But cliches or not, teamwork is the driving force of any successful business.

team growth stages

How can we prioritize our personal lives while excelling in our careers? Here’s where we explore the emerging conversations about Work 2.0. 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.

Learn And Grow To Unlock Your Leadership Potential

At the Performing stage, managers should keep encouraging team decision-making and problem solving as the team members have the knowledge, experience, and trust in each other. They eventually agree on some team norms and find a way to collaborate. The team’s level of conflict and antagonism drops, and people become more constructive, supportive, and understanding. These are the signs to identify the transition into this stage. Team development is a complicated process, the five stages of team development are all critical and one would not be possible without the others.

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. Identifying each of the 4 stages of team development helps you underscore your team’s needs during each one. The norming stage of team development is when the team begins to demonstrate team skills and to work as a cohesive group. After reading everything above, you have a pretty good idea where your team is at – but does the rest of the team agree?

Share a link to these meeting notes afterwards so that everyone has access and can review it later. Organize the agenda so that each team member has five to ten minutes to talk through their insights and ideas. Allow extra time to review the ideas the team shares and to answer questions. 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.

  • This is the only one of the stages of development where the wheels fall off – temporarily.
  • Successfully navigating the storming phase leads naturally to norming, during which conflict begins to subside and a consensus around key issues emerges.
  • These five stages advance as a team works together, but especially when a team brings awareness to their dynamic.
  • They may be feeling some anxiety because of uncertainty about their individual role or future responsibilities.
  • They may feel sadness or a sense of loss about the changes coming to their team relationships.

Conflict management techniques in order to weather the storm. This is especially important for virtual teams where people hardly ever see each other’s faces and may be even located in various time zones. The performing stage is a clear indication that your team is in a state of alignment. They not only understand how to ask for help, but they’ve also developed a gauge for when it’s an opportune moment to speak up, and involve you.

Navigating The storming Stage

It’s a great way to keep the team and your stakeholders on the same page. I recommend building it out in three phases as you define the problem space, validate your assumptions, and get ready to execute. Recently, several teams in our engineering department undertook a massive, ludicrously complex, business-critical infrastructure project. The number of risks and dependencies sent these established and cohesive dev teams into a flurry of (ultimately, unproductive and/or counter-productive) activity. If your team has ever thrashed about like this, then you know what “storming” is. If they have reached the performing stage then there could be a sense of mourning if they have grown close.

The interns are working together on a campaign for a client. And the team leads have delegated tasks based on team members’ strengths. The team members also give periodic progress reports on their tasks as they develop. The group leads meet to discuss how their group members have been struggling with some of their tasks. They decide to have meetings with group members to map out the best schedule that works for most people.

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. When each stage carries through successfully, the entire group will be more in sync and functional. No member of the team will be afraid to ask questions, raise concerns, or propose new ways of performing tasks. Team members usually play to their strengths and help each other out, thereby enhancing teamwork and cohesion in your organization. Bottlenecks get addressed promptly and with purpose since the team can easily collaborate and create the solutions required to get everyone back on track.

A team’s effectiveness gets enhanced by a commitment to ongoing growth and development. That’s particularly for new teams because members need to get acquainted with each other first before they start to work towards the common goal. Think of the forming stage like the first day of school or the first day at a new job. There’s excitement in the air and everyone is ready to roll up their sleeves and get started on the project. Usually, group dynamics and roles have yet to be established, a team leader will typically emerge and take charge and direct the individual members. In the performing stage, teams are in sync and work more efficiently together than at any previous stage.

Teams are made up of individuals, and they function best when each member is happy, healthy, and productive. These stories will show you how to grow your skills, make your own path, and become the best version of yourself. You and your teammates trust each other enough to get a little creative and innovative, while still delivering top-notch work on time. Managers and project leads need to keep their eyes open, but be mostly hands-off so the team can build muscle around working independently. Pose lots of questions to your team, even if you think you know the answer.

Of course, it takes time and resources to bring individuals together and equip them with the skills needed to collaborate effectively and get work done together. Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner. Although norming is a calm stage of team development, there are still things that you can and should do to help things run more smoothly.

Most teams get to the adjourning stage at some point but that’s not always the case. Some teams get created for projects with endpoints, while others are ongoing. However, even teams built for permanent projects can still undergo the adjourning process due to restructuring and re-allocation.

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