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Five Stages of Team Development

As a rule, a group goes through five stages of development before becoming a team, each of which implies its functions and goals. The dynamics of the group’s behavior and development changes as it moves from one stage to another, and it requires different actions for greater efficiency. The team development stage model was first introduced by Tuckman, who published four stages of team development, including forming, storming, norming, and performing in 1965 (Tang, 2019). Consequently, he also added an adjourning stage that completed the process.

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At the forming stage, participants get acquainted with each other and become familiar with the scope of the project. According to Tang (2019), at this point, “team members are anxious and adopt wait-and-see attitude” (p. 38). They begin to set the rules of work, try to determine the role each of them should play, and the expectations regarding the quality of the project. At this stage, interpersonal relationships, norms of responsibility, and perceptions of ultimate goals are established. This stage ends when the participants start to feel that they are part of the group. The storming stage is characterized by internal contradictions in the team.

Participants agree that they are part of the project team, but resist the limitations that the project and the team impose on their individuality. At this stage, the regulatory function of a leader who consolidates the team’s efforts and creates a framework for work is crucial. When these disputes are resolved, the project manager’s leadership is recognized, and the team moves to the next stage.

Close relationships develop at the norming stage, and the team achieves cohesion. The sense of community and shared responsibility for the project is growing. As a result, the team structure is strengthened, and the team develops a conventional system of expectations and criteria on how its members should work together. According to Tang (2019), “at performing stage, team members are trained, competent and able to solve their own problems” (p. 39). The team achieves full synchronization, which contributes to successful functioning. This is the stage at which participants’ work and results are progressing, and the central part of the project is being executed. The adjourning stage aims to progressively complete the project, maintain the deadlines, and bring the project details to the best possible state.

Reference

Tang, K. N. (2019). Team development. In Leadership and change management (pp. 37-46). Singapore: Springer.

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