Want to do team development? Here are 5 stages

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Want to do team development Here are 5 stages

Want to do team development? Here are 5 stages

Want to do team development Here are 5 stages

Building, developing, and maintaining an efficient team is important to achieve organizational goals. In general, there are five general stages experienced by the team when they grow together.

“Five Stages of Team Development” made by Bruce Tuckman is a popular theory for managers and other leaders to build a successful team.

This theory can provide a context for individuals to become a cohesive unit to work towards a common goal.

Here is a discussion and tips in developing a team that is effective and useful for your business.

What is the development of the team?

Team Development or Team Development is an act of supporting and training a group of individuals placed together to work as a cohesive unit to achieve the desired results.

Simple example of team development is when colleagues from different departments work on the same project.

At first, they might not understand the role of each other or what was expected. They must work together, share responsibility for the project and complete it on time. This process includes the stages of the formation of the team that we will discuss more detail below.

Five stages of team development

Bruce Tuckman created the team stages in his published paper in 1965. The original article was published with only four stages in team development, but then he added the fifth stage.

Five stages of team development include:

  • Shape
  • Storming or unification
  • Norming or normalization
  • Performing
  • Adjourning or deferral

Each stage leads to the next team to switch from a group of individuals who work towards a common goal to become an efficient team that utilizes the strengths and weaknesses of each member for optimal results.

1. Formation stage

The formation stage is the first stage in the team development process. Individuals chosen for teams are often optimistic and enthusiastic to start a new project.

At this stage, they are polite and sometimes nervous about how the team will work together. This worry behavior is usually because they are not sure of project instructions or what their role will later.

This stage is an introduction period where everyone adjusts to be part of the team and understands its position in the project.

2. The unification stage

The storming stage or the unification stage is the second step and is usually a difficult transition because it involves the possibility of high failure.

At this stage, group members began to push for what had been set before during the formation of the team. Often, this happens when conflicts begin between team members.

This conflict usually comes from the working style of different team members. Everyone is different in terms of how they complete the task and feel the team must operate.

Passing this stage often requires a leader to ensure the team communicates well and can compromise with each other. The inability to overcome this problem usually ends with team operational disorders.

Some other situations can cause storming phase. For some teams, this might occur when leaders are challenged by team members who feel that they can do work better than leaders.

On other teams, members may begin to feel overwhelmed with the assignments given or uncomfortable with several aspects of the project. Other situations can be a member of the team considers the goal is unclear and refuses to work on the tasks that they think are not important.

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3. Stage normalization

The norming stage or normalization of team development is when team members feel the project has become normal and familiar.

They feel comfortable working with each other and have overcome common problems that occur at the initial stage. Each member knows their role and what is expected while respecting the team’s dynamics.

Each of them has learned how to interact with each other efficiently. At this stage, they have a strong commitment to each other and project solving.

If you are a team leader, you must realize that there may be overlap between the norming and storming stage.

A team can fall back to the storming or alerting stage due to new tasks or more complicated project parts. The leader must continue to work together and communicate with their team to pass the storming stage and return to the norming stage.

4. Performing performance

At this stage, the team completed most of the work needed to complete the project. The team has maximized productivity and efficiency.

At this stage, the team shows its best performance. They appear at peak capacity because they have learned to identify and use the power of each other to complete the purpose.

5. Stage of deferral

This stage is also known as “mourning stage” because it is the final stage of teamwork. Most teams will reach the postponement stage at some point, but not always.

Some groups are explicitly made for one project that has a final point while others are underway.

Even the team built for permanent projects can be through this stage because of reopening or restructuring. This stage often occurs during uncertainty, especially for those who are afraid of change or not sure what will happen next.

How to navigate every stage of team development successfully?

During the formation phase, the team leader must include cracking exercises to add more structures to the process of team members to recognize each other and understand potential work styles.

The storming stage is usually when frustration starts settling and can cause tension between team members. Team leaders must clarify the roles and responsibilities to avoid team members feel overwhelmed with workload and ensure they respect individual limitations.

During the norming stage, team members began to resolve any problems and start working together as a team. Team leaders must contact team members to help everything remain on track and look for opportunities to provide leadership support if needed.

During the performance phase, the team achieved results and groups did the best. The team leader must take the time to develop each team member and introduce new goals to focus.

The adjourting stage is the final stage of team development. Team leaders must meet each team member to describe the next step and provide support for future changes, restructuring and initiatives.

How do you set a team norm?

During the development phase of a different team, the team’s norm was being formed at the same time. This is the behavior that guides team members about how they have to do their job for the team.

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Norms are standard for each team member in terms of performance, behavior and attitudes when working as a group.

Even though the norm is often not written, the rules that occur naturally, it may be useful to write it down and share it so that everyone understands what is expected from it at the beginning.

Norms can help the team focus on positive professional practices such as the commitment or presence of team members in the formation and raid stage.

After the team is formed and reaches the norm stage and performance, these norms are more directed at performance and relationships.

The norm controls team behavior and is only effective if all team members accept it. The strength of the team and their bonds as a cohesive unit depend on these norms.

As a team leader, it is important to work to build a positive team norm at the beginning of the process. Much more difficult to cancel negative norms after they become established in a team.

General problems in team development

There are some common problems that can occur for five stages of team development. Some problems include:

  • The norming stage or normalization can produce negative norms. This means that the team has created a poor coping mechanism or behavior. After this happens, it will be difficult for the team to get out of this negative behavior to achieve the norm phase.
  • The team remains in the storming stage. The team cannot exceed their differences to work together as a team. They are trapped in their development and cannot pass what separates them.
  • Members are not chosen for tasks that suit them. Team development requires group views as a whole rather than the parts. There are times when individuals are incorrectly put into groups and depends on the reason why it can cause problems. For example, unsuitable team members can cause the team to remain in the storming phase.


A good team leader can make or destroy the team in terms of solving development problems. A team leader who takes an active role in developing teams can help avoid the formation of negative norms.

Regarding this issue earlier allows direction correction when one or two group members practiced negative norms.

They must listen to their team members and observe them to understand the problem if it does not seem clear. Some common solutions for this problem include distributing work and more clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member.

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