What is Team Development and its 5 Stages Explained

Is an award-winning work management software used for real-time collaboration, planning and monitoring projects, and automating reports. Gantt charts, Kanban boards, customizable dashboards, and custom request forms are Wrike’s 100% scalable features. Wrike also provides time tracking, budget management, and project portfolio analysis. Users’ data are also kept safe with Wrike’s enterprise-level security capabilities. It is worth noting that the usage of project management tools can help expedite the process of a team working together.

the five stages of team development

They’re also sad that they won’t get to see each other on a regular basis, as they’ve grown quite close. And, what’s most important, they trust that everyone involved will do their share of the work. They know exactly which team member to call to help with each type of problem that arises in the project. Team members have grown fully accustomed to each other’s workflows.

Navigate the stages of team development

Acknowledge the hard work and dedication that your team has put in. This will help to motivate them to continue to produce high-quality work. Make sure your team has all the resources they need to be successful. The Performing stage is marked by high productivity and efficiency. The team is able to churn out high-quality work at a fast pace. This is the stage where you will see the team taking ownership of their work and truly becoming a cohesive unit.

  • In this stage, all team members take responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team’s goals.
  • Each member of a team is valuable to the common goal in their own way, using a unique set of skills to fulfill a team role.
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  • There’s a possibility of failure at the storming stage because it’s here that conflicts start to manifest.
  • They should be prepared for there to be some tension amongst team members but it is still worth it.
  • It comes with a critical but challenging transition from the first phase forming stage.

Some groups may avoid the phase altogether, but for those who do not, the duration, intensity and destructiveness of the “storms” can be varied. Tolerance of each team member and their differences should be emphasized; without tolerance and patience the team will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control.

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When you can identify which development phase your teams are in, it’s much easier to provide exactly the direction they need so they feel more focused and connected. It’s critical that leaders understand team development is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It requires time, attention and patience stages of team development team building as team members work through each of the 5 stages and build a sense of trust and companionship with their colleagues. Leaders who have a good grasp of the Tuckman model are able to properly position themselves within their team’s overall development and ensure that meaningful progress is happening.

the five stages of team development

At this stage, the morale is high as group members actively acknowledge the talents, skills and experience that each member brings to the group. A sense of belongingness is established and the group remains focused on the group’s purpose and goal. Once a group is clear about its needs, it can move forward to the third stage of group development, the norming stage. Bruce Tuckman presented a model of five stages Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing in order to develop as a group. Create open lines of communication between leadership and team members.

Team Building Stages: 5 Steps

Especially in today’s competitive environment, the issue of creating a trusting team takes new dimensions. Schedule weekly team meetings to have each team member report their weekly achievement and highlight any roadblocks they faced. Cultivate an environment where team members can share any information freely to help the team solve problems quickly. As a leader, your role is to remind your team members that conflicts are natural. Disagreements occur because each team member has a unique viewpoint on how to address the difficulties that the entire team faces. As the group becomes more acquainted, positions and duties will emerge.

At the same time, they may also feel some anxiety, wondering how they will fit in to the team and if their performance will measure up. Any conflicts have little effect on the team’s performance because individuals have strategies for solving them without baiting the project’s progress and delivery timely. The norming stage arrives when the whole team starts working as one unit.

As well, it helps to train people in group work enabling them to accomplish their full potential (Bruce Tuckman’s 1965, n.d.). In the adjourning stage, most of the team’s goals have been accomplished. The emphasis is on wrapping up final tasks and documenting the effort and results. As the work load is diminished, individual members may be reassigned to other teams, and the team disbands.

Let other members act as leaders or facilitators.

This way team members can meet from anywhere and share their screen so that everyone can see the project details simultaneously. Record and store the meeting in Teamwork Projects so that team members can revisit it at any time if they need a reminder of the discussion. It’s quite another for team members to understand what specific responsibilities each person has and how that fits into the larger picture.

the five stages of team development

Team members will be tired of conflicting ideas and work harder to solve problems and reach the best state possible for the group to achieve. The storming phase may be quick or it may be incredibly long, depending on the complexity of the project. Since tensions may get high during this phase of the team, be prepared for there to be some arguing, hurt feelings and other conflicts amongst team members.

Learning Outcomes

In teams, the internal characteristics are the people in the team and how they interact with each other. During the Ending Stage, some team members may become less focussed on the team’s tasks and their productivity may drop. Alternatively, some team members may find focussing on the task at hand is an effective response to their sadness or sense of loss.

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. The implication of Tuckman’s group development is essential for establishing a cohesive and productive project management team. Each stage relates to a project phase and establishes roles and mutual goals. Below, the theory is applied to the lifecycle of a project and the role of the project manager. According to the Cambridge, Dictionary feeling as a noun is a fact of feeling something physically (Cambridge, n.d.).


Individual members of a team learn more about their personal potential, duties, and work dynamically within the team. Conversely, team development acquaints each member with the talents and roles of other members. This combination of internal and external reflection strengthens communication, productivity, and well-being within the team. The group development process is important because the system allows leaders to identify the correct stage of development and accurately assess the level of teamwork. The leader can then concoct an improvement plan to move team members through the development phases.

By this stage, they have figured out the strategies that help them to work together. The roles and responsibilities of every member are on the table, and they work with more productivity as they understand the requirements and expectations. It comes with a critical but challenging transition from the first phase forming stage.

Stage 2: Storming

Encouraging the notion that feedback should be given after every meeting makes it easier for team members to air their views. As the name suggests, team development entails training and supporting a group of individuals so that they work as a cohesive unit to realize the intended outcome. An excellent example of team development is when colleagues from different departments partner to work on a project. At the end of the project, set up an online meeting where team members come together to discuss the entire project, from the successes to the frustrations.

If your team has reached this stage, you’re on a clear path to success. You have a mature, well-organized group now fully-focused on reaching the project goals established in the Forming stage. To illustrate the 5 stages of team development, let’s look at the example of Daisy, Adam, Daniel, Mark, and Stella. The 5 of them are neighbors and they just moved to the countryside.

This stage is marked by conflict and competition because team members may disagree on the project goals or may have formed cliques around strong personalities. You may observe defensiveness and resistance among team members or an increase in tension and jealousy. As a result, team performance may decrease in this stage because team members are spending a lot of energy into unproductive activities. As the group members attempt to organize for the task, conflict inevitably results in their personal relations. Individuals have to bend and mold their feelings, ideas, attitudes, and beliefs to suit the group organization. Because of “fear of exposure” or “fear of failure,” there will be an increased desire for structural clarification and commitment.

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