Each stage plays a vital part in building a high-functioning team.
In 1965, a psychologist named Bruce Tuckman said that teams go through 5 stages of development: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. The stages start from the time that a group first meets until the project ends.
Tuckman didn’t just have a knack for rhyming. (Although, it does make the stages easier to remember.) Each is aptly named and plays a vital part in building a high-functioning team.
Forming: This is where team members first meet. It’s important for team leaders to facilitate the introductions and highlight each person’s skills and background. Team members are also given project details and the opportunity to organize their responsibilities.
Storming: At this stage, team members openly share ideas and use this as an opportunity to stand out and be accepted by their peers. Team leaders help teams in this stage by having a plan in place to manage competition among team members, make communication easier, and make sure projects stay on track.
Norming: By now, teams have figured out how to work together. There’s no more internal competition, and responsibilities and goals are clear. Each person works more efficiently because he or she has learned how to share their ideas and listen to feedback while working toward a common goal.
Performing: There’s a high level of cohesion and trust between team members. Teams are functioning at peak efficiency with less oversight from team leaders. Issues still come up, but at this point, teams have strategies for resolving problems without compromising timelines and progress.
Adjourning: Teams complete their project and debrief on what went well and what could be improved for future projects. Afterwards, team members move on to new projects.