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What Are the Stages of Team Development

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Coworkers discussing project at office workstation
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Question: What Are the Stages of Team Development
Answer:

Traditionally, a team goes through five stages of development. Each stage of team development presents its own special challenges to a group of people striving to work together successfully by forming a cohesive team. The team and the organization can take specific actions at each stage of team development to support the team’s success in accomplishing the team mission.

At each stage, the behavior of the leader must be adapted to the changing and developing needs of the group.

The model used was first developed by Dr. Bruce Tuckman who published his four stages of team development: the Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing model, in 1965. Dr. Tuckman seems to have added a fifth stage, Adjourning, during the 1970s.

Stages of Team Development Model

  • Forming: a group of people come together to accomplish a shared purpose.
  • Storming: Disagreement about mission, vision, and approaches combined with the fact that team members are getting to know each other can cause strained relationships and conflict.
  • Norming: The team has consciously or unconsciously formed working relationships that are enabling progress on the team’s objectives.
  • Performing: Relationships, team processes, and the team’s effectiveness in working on its objectives are synching to bring about a successfully functioning team.
  • Transforming: The team is performing so well that members believe it is the most successful team they have experienced; or

    Ending: The team has completed its mission or purpose and it is time for team members to pursue other goals or projects.

Not every team moves through these stages in order and various activities such as adding a new team member can send the team back to earlier stages. The length of time necessary for progressing through these stages depends on the experience of the members, the support the team receives and the knowledge and skill of the team members. These are the twelve specific factors that must be present for a team to succeed.

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