The Stages of Team Development
Purpose: Use this job aid as a guide to the five stages of team development and the strategies you can use to help your team through each stage.
The stages of team development
|Forming||The team starts to focus on the goals, roles, and its purpose.
Team members are enthusiastic and motivated by a desire to be accepted.
Team members are polite to each other and wait for the leader to get the meeting started.
|· Find people in your organization who have the necessary skills and the time to be part of your team.
· Ensure that members feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the group.
· Clarify the team’s goals and outline the planned schedule.
· Build enthusiasm by talking about why the group will be successful and the goals you know team members will accomplish.
|Storming||This stage is characterized by conflict as team members struggle over roles and responsibilities.
This stage can be highly creative as team members generate and challenge ideas and discuss important issues.
Team members must learn to voice disagreement openly and constructively while staying focused on common objectives and areas of agreement.
|· Be open to every team member’s input.
· Ask team members to share their ideas.
· Ensure that everyone stays on track with the team’s goal.
· Help the team define a shared vision.
|Norming||This stage is characterized by team members moving toward unity.
Team members make decisions by consensus and negotiate differences.
Team members have learned to trust each other and their leader.
There’s a sense of agreement and cohesiveness.
Team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas, as well as their disagreements.
The team is finally beginning to feel like a real team – members support each other and work together toward goals.
|· Help team members feel confident that they’re doing a good job.
· Show members that they’ll meet their objectives to instill confidence.
· Create schedules for the project and for meetings that respect every team member’s availability.
· Try to ensure that all members can attend every meeting.
|Performing||This is the most highly productive stage of team development and is characterized by unity.
The team has common goals.
Team members feel confident making decisions and sharing responsibility for processes.
Team members are more autonomous with a lower dependence on the team leader.
Team members know what they’re doing and can get things done with minimal supervision.
Team members have learned what works for dealing with disagreements.
|· Act as a facilitator.
· Make sure everyone is involved.
· Deal with difficult team members.
· Keep tabs on the team’s progress.
|Adjourning||The end of the project, and often, the dissolution of the team.
During this stage, team members are dealing with their impending separation from the team.
Team members may feel insecure and reluctant to let go, or they may lose interest before they complete all their tasks.
|· Have a final meeting with the team where you discuss the things that worked well and the things that didn’t.
· Get team members to talk about how they felt about the group and what it accomplished.
· Give the group feedback about its performance as a team.
· Give each team member individual performance feedback.