The author noted how groups interacted, from their initial meeting all the way to becoming a high performing team, and what pattern to expect throughout this process. His conclusion team development phases was that there are five stages of group progression, the polite phase, the “why are we here” phase, the power phase, the cooperation phase and the spirit de corps phase.

team development phases

This can be disruptive if people are not skilled at handling conflict, negotiating and resolving differences. Getting stuck at this stage is not only unpleasant for the team but is hugely inefficient. It’s important at this stage that leaders continue to communicate standards, expectations and boundaries. While at the same time continuing to create opportunities for the team to have an element of social time to get to know each other better; as this will help build trust. Read through the descriptions of the team development stages and ask each member of the team to write down which stage they think the team is at. Seasoned leaders will be ready for this, and will help the group get back to performing as quickly as possible. In the ideal situation teams begin to trust themselves during this phase as they accept the vital contribution of each member to the team.

Tuckman: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing Model

Understanding the stages of team development is essential for any manager trying to build an effective team. This team development model has become the basis for subsequent models. Next, the team moves into the storming phase, where people start to push against the boundaries established in the forming stage.

Team leaders can take a step back from the team at this stage as individual members take greater responsibility. The team development plan needs to be part of the overall project plan. It should have development time planned and booked into all team members’ diaries. In most instances, a project team is a group of individuals brought together for a finite period of time to achieve the goals of the project. They may have been recruited specifically for the project, supplied by a vendor net freelance projects or sub-contractor, seconded from different departments or perhaps most likely, some combination of all three. The classic Situational Leadership® model of management and leadership style also illustrates the ideal development of a team from immaturity through to maturity . The Adjourning phase is certainly very relevant to the people in the group and their well-being, but not to the main task of managing and developing a team, which is more central to the original four stages.

Phase V: Adjourning

Use the meeting to make sure everyone is up-to-speed on recent events, allocations of responsibility, achievements and present feedback from customers or senior managers that most team members are not party to. Use the same format, time and location each week to give team members a solid event on their calendar. Never start cancelling or postponing meetings as they are automatically perceived as being of less value. Internal conflicts are hopefully resolved and the team members feel more comfortable and relaxed with their colleagues & project environment.

Articulate the team’s goals and objectives and delegate responsibility for achieving them where you can. Encourage the team to articulate what is acceptable and appropriate behaviour, and what is not. Make it possible for individuals to have the power to influence decisions and the way things are done.

The Impact Of Personality Styles On Team Development

You need to be aware that some level of internal conflict will cause a simultaneous dip in team morale. As a manager you need to be very ‘hands on’ at this stage, giving clear directions and structure to make sure that your team build strong relationships. You can facilitate this by making sure your communications dispel any misunderstandings that could arise about roles and responsibilities. Teams made up of people who are used to being autonomous will take longer to build the necessary relationships for a successful team than those used to working in a group. Many individuals may be reluctant to contribute at this stage and their support of the leader is given cautiously. At this stage the team can get on and achieve its objectives with minimal interference from interpersonal stresses or disruptions caused by the preceding stages.

As a leader you should act as a facilitator throughout the task, solving any conflicts and directing the team towards the final stage. Another key task you will perform at this stage is one of monitoring your team’s relationships and performance to ensure that the group dynamics remain positive and productive. This is because changes in the dynamics of the group can result in high-performing teams reverting Requirements engineering to earlier team-building stages. Team members are learning more about each other and how they will work together and are developing tools such as a problem-solving process, a code of conduct, a set of team values, and measurement indicators. The team has now established core processes, and as manager you need to ensure the team avoids spending unnecessary time on issues related to the smaller processes.


Team storming, whilst it may be contentious and unpleasant, will be resolved relatively quickly with your guidance and support. You must view this as a necessary step for your team to become a cohesive whole, not as an enormous irritation to be dismissed. With decisions being made in the majority of cases by the nominated leader you also need to ensure that no team member is committing themselves to do too much, or too little, of the planned work. This first stage involves the bringing together of a group of individuals to form a team. At this stage, members usually have positive expectations about the venture, although they may harbor some anxiety about other members, such as who they are and what they are like. These decisions form the foundation for what you hope will be a coordinated group effort culminating in a project that’s done well. You probably have experienced these stages as you’ve worked on a group project for a class.

Looking For More Teams Resources?

Strong coaching can guide the team and lead them in making key decisions, whilst setting them up with the confidence and support global cloud services they need to move to the next stage; Norming. As a team is created for the first time, they will enter the Forming stage.

Stages Of Team Development

Motivation increases as the team gets more acquainted with the project. The team meets and learns about the task, agrees on goals and on the resources necessary to achieve the desired outcome. They may be motivated, but team development phases are still relatively uninformed of the issues and objectives of the team. Whilst all teams will have their differences, the stages of team development provide useful guidance for both team members and team leaders.

Anchors to illustrate that individuals are motivated by different things – power, authority, making a difference, being the best, security, challenge etc. Motivation is important to ensure that individuals operate on a basis of commitment rather than compliance, illustrated by the Y model. Compliance usually results in the bare minimum standard and is often reluctantly given and short term. Commitment however results in individuals being engaged and willing to give their very best for the sake of the project. Some members are upbeat, basking in the project team’s accomplishments. Others may be depressed over loss of camaraderie and friendships gained during the project’s life. Irrelevant of project size, giving it a catchy name and logo helps generate a strong project identify and gives team members something to belong to.

Relationships between team members will be made or broken in this phase and some may never recover. In extreme cases the team can become stuck in the Storming phase. I am a Project Management practitioner with more than 5 years experience what are the stages of group development in hardware and software implementation projects. I hope you enjoy the content, and I encourage you to share your knowledge with the world. For an alternative model of group development see the Punctuated Equilibrium Article.

Leaders step back empowering individual members and focus on avoiding complacency and leveraging creativity. One introductions have been completed, the team moves on to establishing a clear idea of why they have been called together. Attention moves away from the individuals themselves and towards the team’s objectives, usually led by the moderator. Individual responsibilities are delegated and cliques may start to form as individuals reveal similar interests and skills. Communication becomes more natural as barriers diminish and, although little work is still being done, the group starts to become more effective. For example, a change in leadership may cause the team to revert to ‘storming’ as the new people challenge the existing norms and dynamics of the team. Now your team has reached the final stage of its development and can now bring real benefits to you and the organization.

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