Bruce Tuckman Model of Team Development
In 1965 a psychologist named Bruce Tuckman developed what we refer to as the stages of team development.
Although it’s been in existence for some time, Bruce Tuckman’s team development model is widely followed today.
Essentially, teams go through a series of stages, from when they are created to when they disband. It’s important to note that not all teams progressed through each of these stages, but those who do have seen greater performance than their counterparts.
Problems in Stages of Team Development (Group & Team Development Issues)
Most managers experience some problems during team development due to the lack of coordination and knowledge about developing good teams. These problems include
- Conflicts that undermine the performance of the team.
- They do not trust each other.
- Not clearly determined goal.
- Members also complain that there are some free riders in the group, thus reducing other people’s motivation in the group.
- Sometimes the team members are talking about a lack of leadership.
Therefore, we are dealing with nonproductive teams, which cause failing projects, which costs the firm a lot of money and change.
Bruce Tuckman Model of Team Development
What are the 5 Stages of Group Development?
Bruce Tuckman’s team development model to create a highly productive team. Tuckman’s team development model is significant because it recognizes that groups do not start off fully formed and functioning.
Bruce Tuckman’s suggests that teams grow through clearly defined stages. They grow from their creation as groups of individuals to cohesive and task-focused teams to cycle through the different stages.
Tuckman’s Team development model identifies the five stages through which groups follow in the development.
Bruce Tuckman’s model is best illustrated on a graph that shows the link between group relationships onto the horizontal axis and task focus on the vertical axis.
The Five stages we need to go through the forming stage, the storming stage, the norm ING stage in the performing stage, the optimal or performing position is reached when relationships have developed within the group, and it has started delivering with a clear focus on the task.
However, Bruce Tuckman’s ideas clearly indicate that it takes time to reach the performing stage. It is normal for these teams to go through ups and downs as they develop relationships, particularly in the early period.
Bruce Tuckman 5 Stages of Team Development /Stages of Group Formation
- Forming Stage of Group Development
- Storming Stage of Group Development
- Norming Stage of Group Development
- Performing Stage of Group Development
- Adjourning Stage of Group Development
Forming Stage of Group Development
The first stage of team development is the forming stage. As the initial stage in the model, the forming stage occurs when the team is created. At this stage, team members tend to get to know one another and develop their first impressions.
In the team forming stage, most team members are positive and delight, and some more anxious as they haven’t fully understood what work the team will do. Others are merely excited about the task ahead.
As a leader, you play a dominant role because team members’ roles and responsibilities aren’t clear.
Team members also begin to gauge one another’s personalities and behavior as they attempt to determine what is acceptable behavior in the group.
Typically, conversations at this stage are relatively cordial, and team members rarely take a firm stance on any one issue.
As team members size one another up, they may also get a sense of how much time, energy, and overall effort to commit to the group.
Despite the lack of productivity, the forming stage is essential to establish relationships built upon in future phases.
Forming Stage of Group Development Example
Here is some advice for the Leader: It is essential here for the leader to direct the team and establish clear objectives for the group and individual team members.
It is also vital that there are not too many people and the team keeps it small. The ideal size for a team is six members, and it is important to select members cautiously.
Storming Stage of Group Development
The second stage of team development is the storming stage. This stage is characterized by conflict and disagreement amongst team members.
In the storming stage of group development, people start to push against the forming stage’s boundaries.
This is a very crucial stage because this is the stage where many teams fail. Storming often starts where there is a conflict between team members, natural working styles. Some may question the worth of the team’s goal, and they may resist taking on tasks.
Team members who stick with the task at hand may experience stress, notably as they don’t support established processes or strong relationships with their colleagues.
After the initial getting acquainted stage, team members try to determine what the group will look like.
The conflict begins to surface as team members may have differing views of the group’s goals or outcomes and how those goals and outcomes should be accomplished.
Members may even begin to display frustration with group activities openly as they become more comfortable expressing disagreement.
Although conflict makes us feel uncomfortable, it’s pivotal for the group’s development as team members learn how to deal with disagreements and work towards a common goal.
Unfortunately, not all teams make it out of the storming stage. Those teams are rarely effective and never managed to work together as a fully functioning team.
Assuming that the team does progress through the storming stage, it will come to the norming stage.
Storming Stage of Group Development Example
Here is some advice for the Leader: The leader has to focus on establishing processes and structures and build trust between team members. When conflicts occur, he has to resolve them swiftly and provide support to less secure team members.
Norming Stage of Group Development
Norming is a stage of group development that occurs when members begin to understand their role in the group and their fellow teammates’ roles.
In this stage, team members reach a consensus on the team’s goals and how they intend to accomplish those goals. This is when people start to resolve their differences, appreciate colleagues’ strengths, and respect the leader’s authority.
Now that your team members know one another better, they may socialize together, and they can ask one another for help and provide constructive feedback.
People develop a more substantial commitment to the team goal, and you start to see good progress towards it.
There was often to prolonged overlap between storming and norming because as new tasks come up, the team may lapse back into behavior from the storming stage.
Think back to your own experiences with teams. Chances are you reached a point where things started coming together, and the group began to work as one unit.
Norming Stage of Group Development Example
Here’s some advice for the Leader: Step back and help team members take responsibility for progress towards the goal. This could also be an excellent time to arrange a team-building event.
Performing Stage of Group Development
The fourth and final stage of team development is the performing stage. At this stage, team performance is at an all-time high as team members are fully committed to the task and one another.
A majority of the work is accomplished at this stage as team members begin to feel a sense of closeness or connection to each other and actively attempt to help one another.
Because the team has been tested in the storming stage, members are likely to be extremely loyal to one another as well.
Group members focused on achieving common goals that help them reaching of a high level of success. The roles and authorities dynamically adjust to the changing needs of the group and individuals.
By this time, they are motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous, and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision.
There is unity, group identity is complete, group morale is high, and group loyalty is intense.
Performing Stage of Group Development Example
Here’s some advice for Leader: Delegate tasks and projects as far as you can. Once the team is achieving well, let people work independently.
Adjourning Stage of Group Development
Despite being absent from his original model, Tuckman later added the fifth stage of adjoining.
All teams eventually disband, whether it be because their task or project is completed or members get assigned to other areas.
Team members will eventually part ways.
Why is Team Development Important
Does it really help managers to know what stages teams go through as they mature?
Well, in fact, it does as possible leaders of those teams’ managers need to help the group progress through the initial stages and into the latter stages of the model.
This could be accomplished by getting team members to focus on essential issues and managing conflict effectively in the storming stage.
Also, at the forming stages, managers can create the conditions where team members can socialize and get better acquainted.
The important thing is that the group eventually progressed to the performing stage, where the organization reaps the performance benefits of using teams.
Team development Activities /Guidelines
In general, the following rules should be kept in mind to develop appropriately through group development stages.
- Rotate the responsibility of group facilitation.
- The purpose mission of the group must be clear to all members and the purpose. The task should be periodically revisited.
- Ground rules should be established and monitored.
- Help the group understand that conflict. Conflict in a positive way is a normal and perhaps necessary part of group development.
- The group must be reminded to listen to each other.
- Wrap up at the end of each session should comprise meaningful and constructive comments relative to the group process.
- Everyone must contribute and work to make the group a learning team.
Bruce Tuckman Stages of Team Development