The 4 stages of team development: Where are you?

It sets the foundation for crystal-clear transparency throughout project execution. While these four stages—forming, storming, norming, and performing—are distinct and generally sequential, they often blend into one another and even overlap. For example, if a new member joins the team, there may be a second brief period of formation while that person is integrated. A team may also need to return to an earlier stage if its performance declines.

As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency. Connect with David for more engaging conversations on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. As a project manager, you lead your team through every phase of the project.

Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development

A deadline is missed, a launch doesn’t go as planned, or maybe it’s just that the workloads are heavy and it’s been too long since the last long weekend. Some team members may no longer be enthusiastic about all of the goals set out at the forming stage. “With group norms and roles established, group members focus on achieving common goals, often reaching an unexpectedly high level of success.” By this time, they are motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Dissent is expected and allowed as long as it is channelled through means acceptable to the team. The effective team leader roles in this stage are answering questions and clarifying goals, rules and expectations.

list the four phases in the life of teams

As it turns out, people approach tasks differently depending on the quality of their relationships with their co-workers. Of course, such alterations often occur in the middle of a project. Don’t let bells and whistles get in the way of mission-critical activities.

Employee Satisfaction Soars as PepsiCo Turns to Minecraft for Lean Six Sigma Training

Getting comfortable with each other leads to connections, and connections pull people out of their individualistic attitudes. Part of this is leading them to realize that their new team members are bringing skills to the table that help everyone to succeed in a way they couldn’t do by themselves. Setting goals together puts these skills and interests into the open.

  • In a merger, two or more companies functioning at the same level combine to create a new business entity.
  • 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.
  • The aim of the development aspect of the third cycle is to gauge how well they have developed and what further training they will need to improve.
  • After the individual meetings, she had Jada from human resources come to a team meeting and conduct some team-building exercises and engaging teamwork activities.
  • Norms become a way of simplifying choices and facilitating collaboration, since members have shared expectations about how work will get done.
  • This leads to a lot of data you could use to improve and yet, because it’s buried under the pile that is the project itself, you can’t.

There is tremendous rivalry during the mature period, and games get increasingly complex. Analysis and understanding of the different stages help in the strategic decision-making process. In ProProfs Project, you can easily create tasks, assign users, and set deadlines and progress percentages for each.

Adjourning — Success! You made it

On a remote team, you need to be more thoughtful about the tools and the processes that you use to identify and deal with disagreements. Finally, share the project roadmap so the team can see the starting point, the proposed check-in points, and the end goal. This gives them insight into the bigger goal but also breaks down the timeline into smaller increments. Motivators would increase job satisfaction while the hygiene factors would reduce job dissatisfaction.

list the four phases in the life of teams

In the project initiation phase, you’re setting the foundations for later success. The initial forming stage is the process of putting the structure of the team together. Team members feel ambiguous and conflict is avoided at all costs due to the need to be accepted into the group. Team members look to a group leader for direction and guidance, usually CORAL project guides.

Essential steps during the execution phase

Here’s a checklist to make sure you’re progressing your team through the stages of forming, storming, norming and performing. Management must first strategize on the goals the company wants to meet in the first place before meeting four stages of team development with employees and other team members to assign goals to them. After there is a clarity on the pact of the organization, then management can set personal goals, targets, and specific objectives for teams and employees.

list the four phases in the life of teams

The danger here is that members may be so focused on preventing conflict that they are reluctant to share controversial ideas. When you’re immersed in project details, it’s easy to be diverted from critical activities to side paths that waste time. You and your team can stay focused by meeting once a week and periodically asking yourselves what’s essential to the project’s success.


Team leaders and managers need to understand how teams mature and when to intervene when things are not progressing as desired. This Teamwork Observation Check List (√) is designed to help observe a team to determine how they are maturing, where some problems might exits, and some tips to overcome them. In the Performing stage of team development, members feel satisfaction in the team’s progress. They share insights into personal and group process and are aware of their own (and each other’s) strengths and weaknesses.