What is Team Development and its 5 Stages Explained

Oct 23, 2021 | Software development

Its environment might change – whether that be a physical environment or the framework on which projects are managed. For example, a switch from Waterfall to Agile methodologies. New people could be joining the team, shaking up the status quo.

When team members are upset with themselves, the task, or each other, they learn what causes the most dysfunction. With this information, the team can begin aspiring to a better team dynamic. The norming stage of team development is like a months-old couple that accepts each other’s quirks and flaws. Team members adjust to teammate behaviors and devise strategies to overcome differences. Moving beyond initial hurdles, teammates acknowledge the common goal and focus on making significant progress. The five stages of team development are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning.

Local teen follows her dancing dreams all the way to Team Canada

When your marketing team is remote, you can hire the most talented people regardless of where they’re located geographically. But you have to find a way to make sure team members are aligned and on the same page. Almost all teams lack one or more of these criteria at some point in their tenure. Team development strives to meet these criteria with ongoing reflection and growth. Like any form of development, it takes time and dedication to be effective.

You want to minimize but not necessarily eliminate conflict. Teams that clash and bicker will make little progress, while teams that never disagree may fail to examine matters from multiple perspectives. Remember that your teams do not need to be perfect right out of the gate. Team building takes time and practice, but can improve your team’s dynamics. Team activities alone may not fix teams with incompatible skill levels and dispositions, so better to select the right members for your team from the get go.

Everyone is focused on the needs and goals of the group rather than individual goals. With this lack of cohesiveness, you basically have a bunch of individuals trying to go in the same direction. If you’ve heard the phrase ‘herding cats,’ that makes a pretty good overall description of this stage. Team members are doing their own thing or working hesitantly because they’re not confident about their direction. Because of these issues, the team will often struggle to prioritize or estimate tasks.

team stages

With the work your team is doing only getting more challenging every day, those changes may create conflict and force your group to retreat back into the storming phase. No matter how difficult it may seem to form a team that performs at an optimal level, it’s not an impossible task. For smaller, cross-functional teams, use your main project objective for your team’s mission statement. For example, a cross-functional team between web development and marketing may have a project goal of decreasing page load time to 1.5 seconds. Establishing group collaboration early on can help reduce the impact of—or even prevent—this stage of group development. This doesn’t necessarily mean that conflicts won’t happen.

How Can Leaders Initiate Team Development?

Disagreements are unavoidable on teams, especially when each person on the team has a different perspective on how to approach the issues the team encounters. When you all work in the same location, it can be easier to hash out problems quickly. On a remote team, you need to be more thoughtful about the tools and the processes that you use to identify and deal with disagreements. Maintaining an effective team is much like maintaining a garden; if left unattended, it loses its ability to thrive.

  • Check out how everything works and test all the robust features.
  • Alternatively, you can also arrange a DJ party at your own office.
  • Every stage identified by psychologist Bruce Tuckman has a unique and critical purpose when it comes to team development.
  • Some need only a little guidance; others require extensive coaching.
  • The following table represents the team attitude on these three factors during each stage of development.
  • To clarify roles, introduce team members and highlight each teammate’s position, skills, and experience.

Bruce Tuckman and Jensen suggested five different stages of group development in 1977. These stages are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Typically, every team goes through these stages in order to become highly effective and successful. In the Performing stage of team development, members feel satisfaction in the team’s progress. They share insights into personal and group process and are aware of their own (and each other’s) strengths and weaknesses.

Groups that don’t go through each stage will struggle to become a high-performing team compared to units that experience all five developmental stages. To maximize your team’s immediate and ultimate success, you’ll need to shepherd your team through each phase of the development process, starting with the forming stage. A “can do” attitude and a cemented sense of team cohesion are almost palpable in the performing phase. Teamwork is seamless at this point in the team development process.

Must Read

The reason is overall goals are accomplished by a team through teamwork. The main focus of this activity is to minimize conflicts and improve communication and negotiation skills. Initially, cut a playing card into several pieces and distribute them to different teams. Now, the what are the four stages of team development participants must arrange the pieces so that they can form the original card. Since they don’t have all the pieces to complete the picture, they will have to negotiate with other teams. Bruce Tuckman was a Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology at Ohio State University.

team stages

All the team members are very excited about their accomplishments. They decide how communication should take place between meetings. Chris emphasizes the importance of attendance and that each member’s input is vital. Each person agrees to serve on the team and the initial meeting is set. LRI provides its clients with an exclusive Client Member Area, which contains tools used by LRI consultants to strengthen teams and organizations.

#2. Storming

Annoyance, frustration, and anxiety commonly arise in response. During the Storming stage, team members may argue or become critical of the team’s original mission or goals. In addition to establishing your team’s mission or goal, it’s also important to set roles for individual team members. As you add people to the team, pay attention to what qualities and skills you’ll need to complete the project. As roles solidify, it’s important to make those responsibilities clear and distinct so that everyone knows who is doing what by when. If you haven’t already, consider creating a RACI chart to let each team member know who’s responsible, accountable, contributing, and informed for a specific initiative.

team stages

Instead of collapsing under the yoke of such responsibility, the players embraced it as their mission statement, the contribution they can make to the ongoing effort back home. He says his family and friends followed the exploits of him and his teammates as closely as the conditions in the Ukraine allowed. The professional league has been whittled to six teams playing in the only three rinks in the country with bomb shelters big enough to house the players.

The 4 Stages of Team Development

However, there might be resistance to change among several individuals. This usually happens when a team is about to disband forever or its members will have to work on a different group for the next project. Here the group just disbands as it has either finished the task or some of its members have moved on. Before a team disbands, its members would think about the time they spent together. So, they probably want to celebrate achievements and success before going on their own ways.

Which Factors Affect Team Performance?

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. In the performing stage, teams are in sync and work more efficiently together than at any previous stage. Teams that have been working closely for some time have resolved enough issues to understand what success looks like for them.

As everyone knows each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and skills, the team is good at estimating tasks. Conflicts still arise at times, and they’re handled constructively. When issues occur, the entire team figures out how to solve them. All of these processes can lead to a stack of disagreements and conflicts.

Watch live: White House monkeypox response team holds briefing

For some, that work may simply involve signing their group up for some team-building activities by Let’s Roam. Conflict between team members may force a team to rework project goals and reassign critical tasks. You may also have to tweak your group’s workflow to break down silos created by professionals who are acting like cliquish high school students. Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” https://globalcloudteam.com/ While Mandela’s quote is certainly inspiring, it doesn’t mean forming a high-performing team is an easy task. Getting a team to gel, so to speak, takes time, effort, compromise, and the commitment to overcome what may seem impossible at the start at least. 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.

No-headache team management.

As a result, conflicts, unwanted confrontations, and misunderstandings arise during this stage. Also known as the Adjourning stage, this stage marks either an end or a big change. It’s not always included in ‘stages of team growth’ content and questions. At the end of a large project, the team might be disbanded. In that case, team members must come to terms with the idea that their cohesive team will break apart. They need to adjust back to pursuing individual goals or to a new team.