What Are The Stages Of Group Development? Definition And Meaning

Team cohesiveness is the extent that members are attracted to the team and are motivated to remain in the team. Members of highly cohesive teams value their membership, are committed to team activities, and gain satisfaction from team success. They try to conform to norms because they want to maintain their relationships in the team and they want to meet team expectations. Teams with strong performance norms and high cohesiveness are high performing. The forming stage involves a period of orientation and getting acquainted. Uncertainty is high during this stage, and people are looking for leadership and authority.

Most high-performing teams go through five stages of team development. Characteristics of Performing include demonstrations of interdependence, healthy system, ability to effectively produce as a team, and balance of task and process orientation. Strategies for this stage include celebrating, ‘guide from the side’ , encouraging group decision-making and problem-solving, and providing opportunities to share learning across teams. In times of change, team members can be opportunistic, pessimistic, or devoid of enthusiasm—positive or negative—toward the new direction. As teams work through their individual biases and struggle to come together collectively, meetings can feel combative and lack cohesion. The important thing here is to allow the team to be in this phase of storming long enough to begin to coalesce, developing common ground for the new direction.

It highlights the performance level, characteristics, and proven strategies for each of the phases. Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, DevOps Leads, and other professional can apply the information to help handle challenges or issues experienced by teams. Norms result from the interaction of team members during the development process. Initially, during the forming and storming stages, norms focus on expectations for attendance and commitment. Later, during the norming and performing stages, norms focus on relationships and levels of performance. Performance norms are very important because they define the level of work effort and standards that determine the success of the team.

Group Development Process

For guiding coalitions, having the opportunity to “check” the box and celebrate an accomplishment can be useful in the overall and often ongoing work with guiding coalitions. With so much work to be done, guiding coalitions may change focus and may reconstitute themselves. As the group project ends, the group disbands in the adjournment phase.

To provide a recognized forum for the free exchange of ideas, applications, and solutions to project management issues among its members, and other interested and involved in project management. Features of Norming include reconciliation, relief, lowered anxiety, members are engaged and supportive, and developing cohesion. Strategies for this phase include recognizing individual and group efforts, providing learning opportunities and feedback, and monitoring the ‘energy’ of the group. The norming process is critical with early learning guiding coalitions, such as state early learning advisory councils or other bodies. It has a focus on the whole child and includes goals that promote comprehensive services for children and families.

Any resistance has been overcome by this stage, individual anxiety levels will be lower, and team members will be engaged, committed and unafraid to express personal opinions. As the work continues, new standards will begin to evolve, and further roles will be identified and adopted. In 1965, the Psychological Bulletin published an article https://globalcloudteam.com/ by Bruce W. Tuckman entitled “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups” . In this article, Tuckman described his research into fifty different studies of stages of group development over time. Towards the end of the article, Tuckman proposed a four-stage model of group development, to which he added a fifth stage twelve years later.

Stages Of Group Development

Managers should encourage feedback and work to resolve issues and build team trust. As a leader, you need to facilitate a diverse respectful environment – wherein people listen carefully to one another and value their differences. You might need to tell outspoken folks to listen more and nudge quiet team members to speak up some more.

Group Development Process

Thus, the researchers study about the group development to determine the changes that occur within the group. For example, the seven-member executive team at Whole Foods spends time together outside of work. According to co-CEO John Mackey, they have developed a high degree of trust that results in better communication and a willingness to work out problems and disagreements when they occur.

Use Tuckman’s Model Of Team Dynamics Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, And Adjourning To Help Your Teams Succeed

Leading and participating in cross-sector partnerships are part of doing business. However, the partners who need to be involved constantly shift due to contextual influences and change. Reviewed more than 50 studies of group development in the mid-1960s and synthesized their commonalities in one of the most frequently cited models of group development.

Natural leaders might emerge at this stage; these are folks who quickly assume responsibility for setting a direction. If you collect and focus on too many, they may be obstructing your field of view. Traits of Storming include some resistance, lack of participation, conflict based on differences of opinions, competition, and high emotions. To identify the specifics of the regional context and promote the specific learning opportunities arising from this context for project managers.

How Do I Minimize Conflict Going From The Storming Phase To The Performing Phase?

The model describes four linear stages that a group will go through in its unitary sequence of decision-making. A fifth stage—adjourning—was added in 1977 when a new set of studies was reviewed. Satir’s Change Model Family therapist Virginia Satir developed her model after observing families and individuals experience a wide range of changes. Her model identifies four states of change and two key events that act as catalysts within the process. Sometimes a team may move back and forth continuously between the Storming and Norming stages, which indicates that some issues within the group are not being surfaced and resolved. With the team issues resolved during the previous phase, groups within the Norming stage understand their roles and purpose and are working to develop and strengthen team cohesion.

Teams usually develop norms that guide the activities of team members. Team norms set a standard for behavior, attitude, and performance that all team members are expected to follow. Norms are effective because team members want to support the team and preserve relationships in the team, and when norms are violated, there is peer pressure or sanctions to enforce compliance.

  • Reviewed more than 50 studies of group development in the mid-1960s and synthesized their commonalities in one of the most frequently cited models of group development.
  • Even though team members may have worked together over time, when change occurs, often teams can take steps backwards into the forming stage.
  • In teams, the internal characteristics are the people in the team and how they interact with each other.
  • As a leader, you need to facilitate a diverse respectful environment – wherein people listen carefully to one another and value their differences.
  • The manager’s role here is to facilitate introductions, provide context, set clear expectations and identify success metrics.
  • Read on for details including information on permission requests and downloadable high-resolution versions of the visual.

The storming stage is the most difficult and critical stage to pass through. It is a period marked by conflict and competition as individual personalities emerge. Team performance may actually decrease in this stage because energy is put into unproductive activities. Members may disagree on team goals, and subgroups and cliques may form around strong personalities or areas of agreement. To get through this stage, members must work to overcome obstacles, to accept individual differences, and to work through conflicting ideas on team tasks and goals. As shown, performance fluctuates as teams move through the phases.

Norming Stage

As you might expect, leaders play an important part in establishing productive norms by acting as role models and by rewarding desired behaviors. Tuckman’s research into team development led him to one of the most widely quoted models of team change. His premise that all teams during their development will experience the stages of forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning is regularly used in team building within organisations.

All teams start as a loose collection of diverse individuals coming together for a common purpose. However, an assembly of strangers is not a team – great leaders mould such eclectic groups into cohesive high-performing teams. Teams don’t just become high performing – leaders cultivate high performing teams.

Your team will exit the storming phase when members respect one another and can work together. Also, at times, all it takes is a reorg or the influx of new hires to backslide to the norming stage. The team’s productivity starts to rise as they bond towards a goal. Leaders expend a lot of energy on aligning the team, defusing tense conditions and clarifying charters. At this stage, the team also needs some wins to stimulate collaborative momentum. Furthermore, encourage everyone to share their thoughts, listen to differing viewpoints and aspire for optimal outcomes.

Agile Project Management Author And Influencer Scott M Graffius To Speak At Pmi New Zealand

As mentioned previously, material changes in the team structure or working environment may cause a team to return to an earlier stage of development. This is important to recognise for managers who are considering the introduction of such a change. Managers of Norming teams should adopt a coaching style and continue to provide opportunities for learning and feedback. Individual and team efforts should be recognised, and energy levels should be monitored to avoid burnout. Although sometimes challenging, this is a natural, healthy and vital stage of team formation.

On new teams, it is improbable that people have bonded well enough to understand how to resolve differences amicably. Some of these growing pains occur when expectations do not match reality. Do not try to explain away the issues – acknowledge them and 4 stages of role development seek joint resolution of challenges. Some form of anxiety/impostor syndrome might emerge as members seek to clarify job expectations and performance evaluations. Expect a wide variety of questions as they try to figure out the domain, team and charter.

Is The Storming Phase Avoidable?

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.

For reporting with the Scrum Alliance, it’s 1.00 Scrum educational unit , under either the Learning category or the Events category. For reporting with other organizations, refer to their respective instructions. Post-project review, retrospective, or another label), providing an opportunity for individual acknowledgments, and celebrating the team’s accomplishments—which may involve a party and possibly an after-party. Strategies for this phase include ‘guiding from the side’ , celebrating successes, and encouraging collective decision-making and problem-solving.

Strategies for this phase include recognizing change, providing an opportunity for summative team evaluations, and providing an opportunity for acknowledgments. Teams go through phases of development, and Dr. Bruce Tuckman established a popular and durable framework on the subject. According to Dr. Tuckman, all phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning—are necessary for teams to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. In this phase of the process, the group begins to create norms that will help in smoothly addressing the work.

Typical traits of Adjourning include potential sadness, recognition of team and individual efforts, and disbanding. Tuckman’s model has stood the test of time because it remains highly relevant and beneficial. Since his work was published, it has been supported by additional peer-reviewed research. For permission requests and high resolution versions of the Phases of Team Development image, see below. Attendees may be eligible to receive continuing education unit credit, equivalent to 1.00 hour. For reporting with the Project Management Institute , it’s 1.00 professional development unit , under the Leadership category.

Teams can stagnate at a stage for a while and then move quickly through the next. As long as leaders recognize these stages of development, they are able to respond appropriately to help the group remain focused on its goals and move forward toward the performing stage. Energizing others to overcome challenges and pursue opportunities takes certain skills.

Agile/Scrum and other teams go through stages of development, and Bruce Tuckman established a popular framework on the subject. According to Tuckman, all phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning—are necessary for the team to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. This article provides a brief overview of the model, including descriptions and strategies for each phase. Coalitions or teams do not necessarily move or progress in a straight line through developmental stages. They often cycle through several different stages multiple times.

Indicators of this stage might include unclear objectives, noninvolvement, uncommitted members, confusion, low morale, hidden feelings, or poor listening. Theory of Constraints The Theory of Constraints is a set of tools designed to help managers enhance the performance of a system or process. This stage sees relationships end, and team members will experience a range of emotions, some of which may need management and support.

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