All About the 5 Key Stages in Team Formation

They get individuals and the group to focus on what is within their discretion instead of what they cannot change. As with any aspect of teamwork, it can be easy to fall into a pattern and not consider how you might improve your process until it becomes a problem. Having an agreed-upon method of raising concerns and discussing them productively is a great way to ensure that your group is prepared to handle such difficulties when they come up. Tuckman describes the Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing as the team moves through stages and continuously reviews where your team is at.

  • As you might have noticed, different conflicts are involved, especially in the initial phase.
  • Help your team check in with each other by holding daily stand-up meetings or mid-week progress reports to see if everyone is on track and has the materials they need.
  • And although it may be slightly cliche, there’s a lot of truth to it.
  • They start to know each other and understand their working styles better.
  • Provide constructive feedback to all team members to ensure continuous growth and alignment with team objectives.
  • This gives everyone a chance to introduce themselves and establish roles and responsibilities that will help move the project along with ease.

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. The principal work for the team during the Forming stage is to create a team with clear structure, goals, direction and roles so that members begin to build trust.

Leadership strategies to facilitate successful team development

We might feel like strangers invading someone else’s space, or we might feel like others are invading our space. However, like with children, working together as a team is crucial to success. If you’ve ever been around children, you know how quickly they can form a team and start playing together without prior planning. It seems effortless; before you know it, they have become a team. Of course, there might be a little disagreement about who gets to be the goalie or who gets to score the most goals, but they eventually work it out, and the day passes by quickly.

Overall, the storming phase is when team members question team processes, and if not handled properly, it can thwart team performance. Team formation or development boosts a team’s performance by showing them how common goals can be achieved. In other words, this is all about gathering a group around a shared objective and showing the importance of reaching such a goal.

Building trust and safety using the 5 stages of team development

Have an all-hands meeting to introduce all of these players, including remote team members , so everyone knows where to go for answers. 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. The team may find that this is an appropriate time for an evaluation of team processes and productivity.

Using the Stages of Team Development

You can also avoid duplication, confusion, or gaps in the work. Every organisation relies on great teamworkand it’s important to support our teams to work together effectively. Critical points for team development are when you’re onboarding new team members into an existing team, and when you’re bringing a new team together to achieve a particular project. Some teams adjourn with silence, some with celebration, and others with sadness. Regardless of the length or success of a project, each team deserves a hearty affirmation of its concerted efforts.

Track team time with Toggl Track

The termination of the group is a regressive movement from giving up control to giving up inclusion in the group. This stage begins to occur as the process of organizing tasks and processes surface interpersonal conflicts. To establish clear objectives for the group at this first stage, create a team charter. And help team members to set personal goals, so they can see how their work will fit with the bigger picture. Team members can 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.

They usually fail to overcome conflict and can’t work together. Once you’re aware of their flaws, you either learn to embrace them or the relationship will end quickly. The team has just been introduced and everyone is overly polite and pleasant. At the start, most are excited to start something new and to get to know the other team members.

Dimensions Team Building Activity

As the real work kicks in, the project may present both technical and interpersonal challenges. Individual work habits, leadership decisions, or lapses in communication can cause tension within a team. Annoyance, frustration, and anxiety commonly arise in response. This step was added to the existing model of group development by Tuckman in 1977. If teams get through the storming stage, conflict is resolved and some degree of unity emerges.

Using the Stages of Team Development

Reaching the performing stage is a major success and often precipitates some form of team learning. Team learning is a behavioral process of seeking, gathering, discussing, and implementing methods of team success. Whether through training, group initiative, or innovative leadership, team learning is an action step that ensures healthy team development.

What are the stages of team building?

So it’s important to put some mechanisms in place to avoid this. For example, in meetings, do we have someone who will play devil’s advocate and ask ‘what are we doing here? At this stage it’s important toseparate the problems from the people. So if somebody says, ‘I’m really frustrated because Ali is not doing XYZ’, we can reframe that to ‘I’m really frustrated because XYZ isn’t occurring, I need to go and talk to Ali about it’.

In agile software development, high-performance teams will exhibit a swarm behavior as they come together, collaborate, and focus on solving a single problem. Swarming is a sometime behavior, in contrast to mob programming, which can be thought of as swarming all the time. Every team will go through these stages, but not all teams will reach the performing stage. It takes time and effort to get a team to reach its full potential — but it’s well worth it in the end. ✉️ What are your thoughts on the 5 stages of group development, and do you plan to implement this framework in your work or life? Drop us a line at for a chance to be featured in this or one of our future articles.

Continue to build team spirit (yes, again)

With that in mind, this is probably one of the most unstable of the 5 stages of group development. Similarly, she has established that teams should use warm-up activities — like physical exercise and mind games — to ensure a smooth transition from the Forming Stage to the Norming Stage. In other words, any team setting that requires high performance can benefit from using this model.

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