An organization is only as strong as the teams it creates to handle various projects. For this reason, organizations should invest in team development since it impacts the bottom line significantly. Developing an effective team is akin to maintaining a garden. The five stages of team development go a long way in ensuring that your teams thrive and that conflicts are kept minimal.

Learn how these 5 stages will create a high-functioning unit. By following these tips, you can help your team move through the five stages of team development and achieve success. This is when the team comes together and starts to get to know each other. The team will likely be excited to work together and will have a lot of energy. However, they may also be uncertain about their role in the team and what is expected of them. This stage can be the most satisfying and fulfilling stage in the lifecycle of a team.

team development stage

This may mean providing guidance on decision-making or setting clear deadlines and expectations. Storming— The storming stage is when things start to get a little bit rocky. Team members are starting to test each other’s boundaries and figure out who’s in charge. This can be a difficult stage, as there is a lot of conflict and tension. With Personio, your HR processes are streamlined, saving time and creating a more conducive environment for your HR team to handle the important matters. Sign up to book your free demo today to see how much Personio can positively impact your HR processes.

Important Actions to Take In the Performing Stage

Swarming is a sometime behavior, in contrast to mob programming, which can be thought of as swarming all the time. Think of this phase like when you move in with a friend you’ve never lived with before, and you slowly start to notice the little things about them that get on your nerves. While some teams think they can skip this stage, it’s important to dive into it with the expectation that there may be some conflict.

Provide constructive feedback to all team members to ensure continuous growth and alignment with team objectives. Introduce a system of rewards and consequences to reinforce the ground rules identified during the forming stage. Establish effective conflict resolution techniques to prevent tension from causing deeper damage. Creating a closing celebration that acknowledges stages of group development the contributions of individuals and the accomplishments of the team, and that formally ends this team’s existence. Provide extra support and guidance to help team members who are less secure about voicing their opinions and ideas stand their ground. Coach all team members to be assertive, and stand up for their ideas and opinions in a positive and calm way.

team development stage

Combining a group of skillful people and assuming they will be a great team is a hoax. The development of any team is the task at hand, and if you leave it unattended, it fails to grow. The project is wrapped up, and the final documentation is completed.

Why Tuckman’s Stages of Team Development is Helpful

This means it’s all the more important for managers and team leaders to prioritize and facilitate team development. It’s critical that virtual teams learn to collaborate and communicate effectively. His theory, which is referred to as Tuckman’s Stages, is centered around his research on the dynamics of teams and team building. His common belief of team development is that the stages are all necessary for a group to work together as effectively together as possible in order to see success.

  • When teams are forming, they are just getting to know each other.
  • It’s the point where people say goodbye at the end of a big project, or when you have team members leaving your team.
  • Knowing each stage of development can help you create all-star teams that deliver amazing results.
  • For this reason, team leaders should be at hand to help members return to the norming stage.
  • Storming is characterized by competition and conflict within the team as members learn to bend and mold their feelings, ideas, attitudes, and beliefs to suit the team organization.
  • This is then followed by a “performing” phase that leads to a new performance level which they call the “reforming” phase.
  • They share insights into the personal and group process, and are aware of their own (and each other’s) strengths and weaknesses.

This is the where team members begin to but heads as they have different opinions regarding the project and compete with one another for status and for acceptance of their ideas. Every team goes through this and it is unavoidable, but it can be handled in a positive and meaningful way. At this stage, it is up to the team leader to manage conflict and ensure idea sharing is done as productively as possible.


Some of the greatest entrepreneurs and inventors have had failed companies and ill-conceived ideas. Toggl Track is the time tracker that can slot into any team’s workflow. Get crystal-clear insights into what your team members do with their time and see which team members are overworked, and which ones can take on more. To advance from this stage to the next stage, each member must relinquish the comfort zone of non-threatening topics and risk the possibility of conflict. To run a great meeting, keep the team aligned, and the agenda short, specific, and action-oriented. Creating a closing celebration that acknowledges the contributions of individuals and the accomplishments of the team and that formally ends this particular team’s existence.

team development stage

This is important considering that at least some of you may work together in the future once again. Arrange at least 1 team-building activity, to help people grow closer as a team. Speaking of ends, the Adjourning Stage is the bittersweet cherry on the top of each team and project, and it will happen whether you want it or not. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments and think about what you learned. At first, people are led by their natural desire to be liked by others and accepted among their peers. After all, when you have to cooperate with someone for a longer period, it’s easier to do it if you get along well.

An Overview of the Team Development Model

This stage refers to the dissolving of the group, likely after it has completed its task and hence fulfilled its purpose. The team leader should take the time to celebrate the team’s success and evaluate performance. This is also the time for team members to reflect on the project and say their good-byes. This is the stage where the team begins to function as a cohesive unit, no longer focused on individual goals. Team members have learned how to express their opinions in a respectful way, communicate displeasure or disapproval in a productive manner, and resolve conflict quickly and efficiently.

Sales LeadersFellow helps Sales leaders run productive 1-on-1s, team meetings, forecasting calls, and coaching sessions. Allow the team to provide constructive feedback to the team leader, the HR team, and any other relevant staff members not directly on the project team. It is important for the team leader to set aside time specifically for the adjourning stage. It is very unlikely that the team will adjourn naturally without structure or guidance.

team development stage

During the forming stage, team members are often optimistic and enthusiastic about getting started. They may also be polite and nervous about how the team will gel. The apprehensive behavior usually arises because members are unsure about the project goals and their roles. However, once that’s explained, they’ll adjust to the roles that await them. On their part, members should learn how to organize their responsibilities. Conflicts are usually minimal since members are too newly acquainted to have any.

A continuous improvement mindset is the enemy of the status quo. Providing consistent feedback prevents team stagnation because everyone is always striving to do and be better. During the “forming” stage of team development, the team members acquaint themselves with the basic aspects of their task. Forming stage discussion topics often include the project goal, team member roles, basic ground rules, and designation of authority. The forming stage is truly a honeymoon phase in teamwork—productivity is low, but the team members are too newly acquainted to encounter conflict. Ultimately, undergoing the five stages of team development sets your team up for success.

Tuckman’s 5 stages of team development

Clarify the expected stages of group development right from the start, to highlight that conflicts and problems throughout the project are normal, and not a sign of failure. 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. Now, these 5 stages are vital to help you anticipate your team effectiveness, i.e. your ability to be efficient and productive with your work, both as individuals and as a group. Performing teams also get the job done with minimal supervision and conflict.

Why are the 5 stages of group development important?

Identify any issues between team members as early as possible to help alleviate the tension. You may want to split people up that do not work well together and restructure the project for maximum efficiency. As a team leader, it is your job to make sure everyone feels seen and heard. The members always debrief and discuss everything that went well and what can be improved for the coming projects.

Get Your New Group or Team Performing Beautifully!

With this information, the team can begin aspiring to a better team dynamic. The norming stage is when the entire team starts to work as a cohesive unit. By now, team members have figured out a strategy for working together. The internal competitions prevalent at the storming stage have been rooted out.

Risk Management

The forming stage is also about people getting to know one another. If you’re working remotely, try virtual onboard exercises to forge a group bond and establish buy-in to your vision. Schedule regular reviews of where your team is at and adjust your behavior and leadership approach. Clockify is a time tracker and timesheet app that lets you track work hours across projects. Marija Kojic is a productivity writer who’s always researching about various productivity techniques and time management tips in order to find the best ones to write about.