Take the time to call out assumptions about the work and how you’ll work together. Solving problems face-to-face instead of over email or chat is a good investment right now because you’ll get a richer sense of who your teammates are as people. The forming-storming-norming-performing cycle repeats more often than you might think. Some teams do come to an end, when their work is completed or when the organization’s needs change.
Establishing ground rules from the get-go ensures they get followed as the group moves from one stage to the next. A critical rule to emphasize is that team members should always listen to each other and feel free to consult and raise concerns. No idea is too stupid to raise, and no question is too silly to ask. That can only happen if a solid foundation gets laid and communication channels are kept open.
Seeing your colleagues as more than their job roles is something that should happen in the early stages of the Forming process but it’s important to keep engaging these muscles. Even as a team improves in performance, it’s vital to keep improving and engaging these skillsets in the name of better cooperation and team development. Storming can be a difficult to manage part of the process, as it’s often where conflict, differences of opinion, and accepted norms can be challenged. At this stage, the group may begin to understand the largeness of a project or task at hand and become disheartened. Additionally, misalignment on goals and working practices can come up, creating clashes of personalities.
She is the author of numerous articles published on the Trello and Atlassian blogs and is a regular contributor to various publications on Medium including HackerNoon, Art+Marketing, and PoetsUnlimited. She speaks at tech conferences around the world about agile, breaking down silos, and building empathy. Reliable, consistent releases are a crucial part of a software team’s success (and survival!). Learn how to manage, structure and build culture with a distributed agile team. Have productive meetings your team can be proud of with a clear meeting agenda for every event in your calendar. Use a collaboration tool like Teamwork Spaces to organize and store your documentation.
Give the group room to grow
The team may find that this is an appropriate time for an evaluation of team processes and productivity. This is the stage when things begin to settle down as your team finds their groove. As they grow more comfortable working together, team members are more comfortable asking for help completing a task or getting constructive feedback.
- That said, developing a successful team formation is a process that requires time and patience, as sometimes it can be difficult for members to adapt to each other.
- It’s a great way to keep the team and your stakeholders on the same page.
- By now, team members have figured out a strategy for working together.
- After going around the circle, invite each person to share which comment they liked the most.
- In this stage of group development, individual members are just getting to know each other and don’t have a group process yet.
- Full knowledge of the skills that everyone brings to the table, like development, web design, marketing, or product knowledge.
After reflecting as individuals, the team builds a collective map which can serve as the basis for further discussions and actions. Each one encouraging the team to reflect and analyse a different and crucial element of their behaviour. 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.
The stages of team development
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. During the Norming stage, members shift their energy to the team’s goals and show an increase in productivity, in both individual and collective work.
This activity is a great way of quickly and efficiently helping a team share themselves with the group and go beyond the scope of some standard activities. In the performing stage, consensus and cooperation have been well-established and the team is mature, organized, and well-functioning. There is a clear and stable structure, and members are committed to the team’s mission. Problems and conflicts still emerge, but they are dealt with constructively. As a team goes through the stages, individual members learn more about their potential and how to work dynamically as part of a collective. The team development stages also acquaint members with each other’s talents and roles and prepare them for future leadership positions.
Most teams are comprised of people from different disciplines, backgrounds, and skill sets. Particularly when people with vastly different roles work together, expectations around needs, dependencies, and how to ask for help can be very different. Avoid misunderstandings and conflicts in this area by using this exercise to help everyone in a group coordinate around what they need to succeed and find ways to articulate those needs effectively. Where this exercise also excels is in giving everyone in the group room to respond and find better ways to work together in practical terms. While Storming can be tricky for a group to navigate, it’s also an opportunity to surface issues, create solutions and learn from different ways of doing things. One vital thing to remember is that it’s important to accept that personal differences in working style or goal perception are part of being in a team.
While not part of Tuckman’s original model, it is important for any team to pay attention to the end or termination process. We’ll have you in for an in-person interview during which you’ll meet with various members of the team you’re being considered for, members of teams you’ll work closely with and the hiring manager. You’ll have a call with a hiring manager or a member of one the teams you are being considered for — it’s an opportunity for you to find out about the opening and ask questions. This is also the time in which teams can celebrate everything they have achieved together.
This is where groups begin to settle into a working pattern, appreciate one another’s strengths and become more effective as a team. All teams are made up of individuals with varying skill sets, perspectives, and needs. As groups work together, conflicts in thinking, approach, or working practices can and will arise. At the end of the exercise, all the questions go up on a whiteboard to encourage further conversation throughout the day. By encouraging the group to take ownership of this part of the team development process, you can meaningfully impact the Forming stage.
Your team starts to increase their productivity at this stage as they become more familiar with their teammates and their working styles. Establishing a set of ground rules each member must commit to is key to building a successful team that stays motivated and performs efficiently. Having a clear mission gives direction and focus, allowing team members to understand their shared goals while cooperating.
Team Norms and Cohesiveness
In this stage, groups often become more comfortable asking for what they need in a productive manner and offering feedback on team and leadership performance. It’s important to remember that teams in the Norming stage may not yet have gotten everything right and still need guidance and consideration as they move towards becoming an effective team. It’s vital to stay alert to team dynamics and both individual and group performance – you may want to course correct or further strengthen certain aspects of how your team works together.
Thus, leaders should be supportive and help members transition smoothly into the new roles. Here, there’s cohesion, trust, and understanding among team members. The team functions at peak efficiency, and little or no oversight are needed. At the performing stage, it’s easy to accomplish tasks since members are in tandem and understand the process. Team members thrive when handling individual and collective tasks since each individual’s skills are fully optimized.
Team development stages
In an organization, the adjourning stage could translate into a change in employees’ job responsibilities. For instance, if the team develops a new work process for improving the customer experience, members may be asked to oversee the new and improved process. During the Norming stage of team development, team members begin to resolve the discrepancy they felt between their individual expectations and team development phases the reality of the team’s experience. If the team is successful in setting more flexible and inclusive norms and expectations, members should experience an increased sense of comfort in expressing their “real” ideas and feelings. Team members feel an increasing acceptance of others on the team, recognizing that the variety of opinions and experiences makes the team stronger and its product richer.
Full knowledge of the skills that everyone brings to the table, like development, web design, marketing, or product knowledge. This background will help the team solve problems faster and get the right information to the correct person on the first try. Communication in the Workplace Crossed wires and missed connections – good communication among teams is tablestakes for effective teamwork. Get best practices and sound advice on how to create understanding and work together better. Behaviors during the Norming stage may include members making a conscious effort to resolve problems and achieve group harmony.
Key actions to support Norming
The team development cycle starts over more often than you might think. It just means that when change happens, humans need time to adapt. Team members are able to 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. Roles on the team may have become more fluid, with members taking on various roles and responsibilities as needed. Differences among members are appreciated and used to enhance the team’s performance.
Renowned psychologist Bruce Tuckman created an easily-understood model in 1965. It illustrates how teams in different fields undergo five similar stages of group development. Understanding the stages of team development enables you to build successful and high-performing teams. 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.
The 5 Stages of Team Development
This gives them insight into the bigger goal but also breaks down the timeline into smaller increments. 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. In the past, we would look to HR or our boss’ boss for guidance. While those people are still available when we need them, we usually don’t.