The Five Stages Of Team Development: How To Get Your Team From Point A To Point B

The Five Stages Of Team Development: How To Get Your Team From Point A To Point B

Throughout your career thus far, it is likely that you have encountered at least one instance where you were part of a team. Whether it was for a class project, extracurricular activity, or job-related task, being part of a team is an important life skill.

However, not all teams are created equal. Some teams are more effective than others and can achieve more results in a shorter time frame. How does this happen?

It all comes down to how the team progresses through each development stage. There are five stages of team development: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning.

In this article, we will explore team building steps in detail and provide tips on how to get your team from Point A to Point B. Let’s go!

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What is Team Development?

Team development is the process of building a cohesive group of people to work together towards a common goal. It’s not just about having a team, but rather making sure that everyone on the team works well together and has an understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Team development requires patience and commitment from all members in order for it to be successful.

In the business world, it’s a well known fact that teams are essential for success. But what’s not so well known is the fact that teams don’t always start out efficient and organized. It takes time and effort to get a team from point A to point B — and that’s where the five stages of team development come in.

What Are The Five Stages of Team Development

Tuckman’s theory of team development has revolutionized the way managers approach team building. His five stages – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning – have become the foundation for successful teamwork in organizations everywhere. By understanding how teams develop and progress through these stages, leaders can maximize their teams’ efficiency and effectiveness.

The five team building steps are as follows:

1. Forming:  In the forming stage, team members are getting to know each other and trying to figure out how they can work together. This is a time of uncertainty and confusion, as team members are trying to determine their roles within the team.

2. 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.

3. Norming:  The norming stage is when the team starts to gel. Team members start to develop trust and respect for each other, and they start working together as a unit. This is a productive stage, as the team is now able to start tackling tasks and achieving goals.

4. Performing: At this point, the team has built an effective system for communication and collaboration. Everyone understands their role and is working together to achieve success. They’re focused on executing the plan with precision and confidence, making sure that no detail is overlooked. As a result, the goals are achieved quickly and efficiently..

5. Adjourning:  The adjourning stage is when the team comes to an end. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as the team completing its task or disbanding due to conflict. Regardless of the reason, this is the stage where the team officially ends.

Every team will go through these stages, but not all teams will reach the performing stage. It takes time and effort to get a team to reach its full potential — but it’s well worth it in the end.

7 Reasons Why We Need A Systematic Team Development Approach

Now that we know the five steps of team development, it is important to understand why this approach is so effective. Here’s how they help:

1. Creating understanding and trust: The five stages of team development help to create understanding and trust amongst the members. This is done by providing a framework for how each member can contribute and interact with one another in a team management application, as well as how tasks should be completed. As the team progresses through each stage, it becomes more comfortable with its processes and roles, resulting in increased collaboration and productivity.

2. Providing clear roles and responsibilities: Each stage of team development helps to provide clarity on who is responsible for what tasks or actions. This ensures that everyone knows their role within the team so that they can work towards achieving common goals efficiently and effectively.

3. Improving decision-making processes: The five stages of team development help to improve the decision-making process within the team. As each member contributes their thoughts and opinions, it is easier for everyone to come to a consensus on how tasks should be handled or completed. This helps to ensure that all members are on board with decisions made by the group as a whole.

4. Enabling efficient problem-solving and communication: With clear roles and responsibilities in place, teams can more easily identify problems and find solutions faster than if they were working independently. Also, since each member knows their role, it is easier for them to communicate effectively with each other, which helps to improve the team’s overall performance.

5. Maximizing team performance: By following the five stages of team development, teams are able to maximize their potential and produce better results in a shorter amount of time. This is because everyone is working towards common goals and have a clear understanding of how tasks should be handled or completed. 

6. Standardizing process flow: The five steps provide an organized framework for how teams can work together more effectively. By having this structure in place, it becomes easier for teams to follow processes and ensure that tasks are completed on time and within budget.

7. Easier task automation: By following the five stages of team development, teams can more easily automate certain processes or tasks. This helps to free up time for members to focus on other important tasks or initiatives, which in turn leads to even better results and performance.

So, how can you get your team from point A to point B? Let’s go through each stage in a bit more detail.

Stage 1: Forming

The first stage of team development is Forming. 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.

Some key indicators that a team is in the Forming stage include:

  • Eagerness to work together: At this stage, team members will be enthusiastic about working together and eager to get started. They may be actively engaging in conversations and trying to learn more about each other.
  • Uncertainty: Team members may not yet have a clear understanding of their role within the team or what is expected of them. It is important for the leader to provide guidance and clarity at this stage in order to ensure that everyone knows what they need to do. 
  • Confusion and hesitant decision-making: Team members may be hesitant to make decisions during the forming stage as they are still learning how to work together. It is important for the leader to provide guidance at this stage in order to help team members become more confident in their decision-making abilities. 
  • Focusing on relationships: At this stage, team members will be actively working on building relationships with each other. This includes sharing personal stories, discussing interests, and getting to know each other better.

If your team is in the Forming stage, there are a few things you can do to help them progress:

  • Help each member define their role in the team and what is expected of them. Since the finer details are still uncertain at this point, it’s important to provide some structure and clarity.
  • Encourage the team to get to know each other. Bonding at this stage is essential for team cohesion down the line, so initiate activities like team-building exercises or social outings.
  • Help the team to be productive. This may mean providing guidance on decision-making or setting clear deadlines and expectations.

Stage 2: Storming

The next step in team development is storming. Here, the group starts to grapple with competing opinions and differing views. Team members begin to define their roles and objectives, which might lead to some disagreements. Nonetheless, this process is essential for creating a strong team dynamic that will eventually drive successful outcomes.

This stage is likely in full swing if your team is:

Some key indicators that a team is in the storming stage include: 

  • Conflict and disagreement: Storming stage is characterized by members of the team disagreeing on certain topics or tasks. This can lead to arguments and tension among the group, which is normal during this stage.
  • Resistance to change: During this stage, members may be resistant to new ideas or approaches proposed by other members. This resistance can lead to a lack of progress if not handled properly. 
  • Focus on tasks: Members will likely focus more on individual tasks rather than working together as a team. This can cause frustration among members and decrease productivity levels within the team. 
  • Competition among members: Members may start to compete with each other, rather than collaborate as a team. This competition can lead to decreased morale and team spirit, which will make it difficult for the team to reach its goals.

If your team is in the storming stage, there are a few things you can do to help move them on to the next stage:

  • Set some ground rules: While the team is figuring out their roles, it’s important to have some ground rules in place. This will help keep the team from clashing and arguing.
  • Give the team some time to work on their own: Allow the team members to brainstorm and come up with ideas on their own. This will help them start to work together better.
  • Encourage the team to work together: This can be done by setting goals that the team needs to work together to achieve, or by giving the team positive feedback when they work well together.

Stage 3: Norming

In the third stage of team development, Norming, the team begins to gel. Members start to trust each other and feel like they are part of a unit. This is often when the team starts to produce its best work.

The Norming stage typically lasts for four to six months. During this time, the team will likely:

  • Agree on team norms and values: During the norming stage, teams will agree on norms and values that everyone can abide by. This helps to ensure that team members are all working towards the same goals with a shared understanding of what is expected from them.
  • Start to work collaboratively: During this stage, members start to collaborate more and work together as a unit instead of individual tasks or ideas. This leads to increased productivity levels and better results for the team overall. 
  • Develop a sense of cohesion: As members begin to trust each other more, they will start developing strong relationships with one another. This leads to an increase in morale, which further improves productivity levels within the team. 
  • Become more productive: The team will now start producing its best work as members become more comfortable with each other and their roles within the group. This leads to increased efficiency and better results for the team overall.

To help your team reach the Norming stage, you can:

  • Encourage trust and communication among team members. Allow your team to openly discuss issues and share ideas.
  • Foster a sense of cohesion. Make sure team members feel like they are part of a unit and that they share common goals.
  • Encourage productivity. Help your team track its progress and set achievable goals, as well as providing feedback on their work.

Stage 4: Performing

In the Performing stage, you will begin to see your team taking on a life of their own. They are now able to work independently and are self-sufficient. The team is able to handle most tasks and can complete them without much help from you.

The Performing stage is marked by high productivity and efficiency. The team is able to churn out high-quality work at a fast pace. This is the stage where you will see the team taking ownership of their work and truly becoming a cohesive unit.

At this stage, teams will typically:

  • Have strong communication channels: At this point, teams have established clear lines of communication with everyone involved. This allows for better collaboration within the group as well as making sure that there are no misunderstandings or miscommunications between members.
  • Work collaboratively: As teams become more comfortable with each other and their roles, they start to work together as a unit instead of individual tasks or ideas. This leads to increased productivity levels and better results for the team overall. 
  • Be proactive: Teams in this stage will take initiative when it comes to problem-solving and decision-making. This allows them to have an active role in achieving the team’s goals, rather than just waiting for someone else to make decisions for them. 
  • Take ownership: Team members now understand what is expected from them and are willing to own up if something goes wrong or isn’t achieved. This allows the team to take ownership of their successes as well as their failures, which is important for growth and improvement.

There are some key things to keep in mind during the Performing stage:

  • Give your team the freedom to work independently. Instead of micromanaging them, trust them to get the job done.
  • Encourage your team to take ownership of their work. Let them know that you have faith in their abilities and that you are confident they can handle the task at hand.
  • Make sure your team has all the resources they need to be successful. This includes things like tools, equipment, and funding.
  • Celebrate the team’s successes. Acknowledge the hard work and dedication that your team has put in. This will help to motivate them to continue to produce high-quality work.

Stage 5: Adjourning

The final stage of team development is adjourning. This stage occurs when the team’s work is completed, and the team dissolves. The members may go their separate ways, or they may stay together to form a new team.

The adjourning stage can be difficult for team members who have become close. They must say goodbye to one another and may never see each other again. However, the adjourning stage can also be a time of celebration. The team has completed its work and can be proud of its accomplishments.

To assist teams in adjourning successfully, you can:

  • Help team members stay in touch after the team has disbanded.
  • Encourage them to keep in touch through social media or other methods.
  • Organize reunions or other get-togethers, so team members can stay connected.
  • Make sure team members have access to the team’s final product and any other documentation or materials they need.

Bonus Tip: Use a Productivity Tracker and Team Management Application

Using productivity tracking software can be helpful in keeping track of individual and team performance. There are numerous tools available to help you get started, such as Asana or Trello. By using these tools, you can monitor the progress of your team and identify areas where improvement is needed. is one of the most comprehensive productivity and time-tracking apps available. It allows you to track time spent on tasks, set goals and milestones, and manage projects with ease. By using to track your team’s progress, you can be sure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.

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Final Thoughts

Each of these stages plays a crucial role in bringing a team from Point A to Point B. However, not every team will progress through these stages in a neat, linear fashion. As a leader, it’s important to be aware of the different stages your team is going through and how you can help them move forward.

When leading a team through Tucker’s five stages, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Encourage team members to share their ideas and contribute to the discussion.
  • Make sure everyone feels heard and respected.
  • Be patient and give your team time to progress through each stage.
  • Provide support and guidance as needed.
  • Celebrate each stage as the team progresses.

By following these tips, you can help your team move through the five stages of team development and achieve success.