The 5 Important Stages of Team Development

Stages of Development - Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Adjourning  (Credit: Unsplash)
Stages of Team Development - Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Adjourning  (Credit: Unsplash)

Stages of Team Development

There are five stages of team development that all teams go through.

Forming is the first stage, where the team comes together and tries to figure out what their goals are. Storming is when the team starts to clash and has disagreements about how they should work together. Norming is when the team starts to gel and come up with some norms for working together. Performing is when the team is productive and meeting their goals. And finally, Adjourning is when the team disbands or moves on to another project.

Each stage is important in order for the team to reach its full potential.  In this blog post, we will discuss each stage in more detail and give you tips on how to move your team through these stages as quickly as possible!

1. Forming

Team members are typically thrilled to be a part of the team and eager about the work that lies ahead at the Forming stage of team growth. Members frequently have very high standards for their team experiences. They might also experience some anxiety as they consider how they will fit into the team and how their performance will fare.

Consider the forming phase to be similar to the first day of school or a new job. Everyone is eager to roll up their sleeves and begin the project, and there is enthusiasm in the air. When roles and group dynamics are still being formed, a team leader usually steps forward to take leadership and guide the individual members.

Team members must understand what is expected of them and how they fit into the larger scheme. Describe what should be done at intermediate deadlines, such as when new user data has to be collected and analyzed, when A/B tests should be conducted, and when a soft launch should be conducted to test modifications.

2. Storming

Stages of Team Development - Storming (Credit: Unsplash)
Stages of Team Development - Storming (Credit: Unsplash)

Members learn that the team can't fulfill all of their early excitement and expectations as they make progress toward their goals. Their attention may divert from the work at hand to feelings of annoyance or rage at the team's performance or procedure. Members could voice worries about falling short of the group's objectives. Members test the team's ability to deal with conflict and respond to disagreements during the storming stage.

Members must cooperate and play to each other's strengths in order to overcome barriers and maintain momentum throughout the storming stage so as to avoid becoming slowed down. Spend some time early on resolving issues to prevent them from becoming a problem.

On teams, disagreements are inevitable, especially when each team member has a unique view on how to handle the problems the team faces. It may be simpler to rapidly resolve issues when everyone works in the same place. You must be more careful when choosing the methods and tools you employ on a remote team to find and resolve conflicts.

3. Norming

The team members start to reconcile the gap they sensed between their personal expectations and the reality of the group's experience during the Norming stage of team development. Members should feel more at ease expressing their "true" thoughts and feelings if the team is effective in creating more accommodating and inclusive standards and expectations.

As they come to understand how the diversity of viewpoints and experiences strengthens the team and enhances the quality of its output, team members feel a growing acceptance of their fellow team members. It's possible and encouraged to offer constructive critique. Members can enjoy the improved group cohesion as they begin to feel like a part of a team.

Everyone is united, and an understanding of who the leaders are, what each person's job is, and what will happen next emerges. The team has a stronger sense of unity and is getting to know each other's personalities and sense of humor better.

4. Performing

Stages of Team Development - Performing (Credit: Unsplash)
Stages of Team Development - Performing (Credit: Unsplash)

Members are pleased with the team's development during the performing stage. They are aware of their own, and each other's strengths and flaws, and share insights regarding personal and group processes. Members identify with the team as "bigger than the sum of its parts" and take pride in the team's accomplishments. Members have faith in both their own skills and those of their teammates.

The sweet spot is here, but getting there is difficult. Teams are in sync and collaborate more effectively than ever before at the performing stage. Teams who have been cooperating closely for a while have dealt with enough problems to know what success means to them.

No matter what, difficulties and conflicts may still arise; however, they are managed and handled in an honest and constructive manner. Additionally, if a problem arises, it is simpler and quicker to resolve because the team members already have a bond and relationship.

5. Adjourning

Some team members may lose concentration on the team's tasks and become less productive during the Ending Stage. As an alternative, some team members may discover that concentrating on the current task helps them deal with their grief or sense of loss. The efficiency of their work may improve.

Set up an online meeting for the team to discuss the overall effort, from the achievements to the disappointments, at the conclusion of the project. Give everyone five minutes to voice their opinions after asking them to provide examples of what worked and what didn't. Record the remarks so it will be clear which tendencies develop and what adjustments must be done moving forward.

There may be a ceremonial celebration of the work that was accomplished and the overall success of the project, depending on how long the project lasted and the bond that was built.

Stages of Team Development

The five stages of team development provide a useful framework for understanding how teams evolve over time. By understanding the different stages that teams go through, leaders can be better prepared to manage conflict, build trust, and foster collaboration.

Ultimately, the goal is to help teams reach their full potential so they can achieve amazing things together.

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