5 Stages of Team Development: Definition and Best Practices

At this point, everyone is working together towards a common goal and producing predictable results regularly. If new issues arise, they no longer threaten the team’s performance but are dealt with constructively. Norms are only effective in controlling behaviors when they are accepted by team members. The level of cohesiveness on the team primarily determines whether team members accept and conform to norms.

  • The Storming stage is characterized by conflicts, power struggles, and a lack of clarity, which can significantly impact productivity and team dynamics.
  • They may be feeling some anxiety because of uncertainty about their individual role or future responsibilities.
  • And the team leads have delegated tasks based on team members’ strengths.
  • It allows employees and managers to make the most of the stages of team development to boost teamwork and efficiency within the organization.
  • At this stage, the team is believed to have completed its tasks and can be satisfactorily dissolved.
  • As a result, the individual team members are given their chance to shine.

Activities include; workshops that highlight what’s working, what isn’t, and what can be better. A workflow like the start, stop, continue workshop allows facilitators to get feedback from interns seamlessly. Often called Tuckman’s stages of group development, or the Tuckman model, this framework has, over time, been beneficial for both individuals and organizations. One of the stumbling blocks many individuals and groups face when making change is knowing how to start while also being intimidated by the potential largeness of the task. One of the key ways to influence proactive change in a group is to empower your team to make small but meaningful changes incrementally and experiment to find what works. With this method, you can invite your group to identify small changes they can make now and work towards better working practices as both individuals and a team.

Building a Strong Team: The Stages of Team Development

The first step in implementing a practical team development framework is understanding what it is and why you need it. 15% Solutions show that there is no reason to wait around, feel powerless, or fearful. They get individuals and the group to focus on what is within their discretion instead of what they cannot change. This is a structured process designed for teams to explore the way they work together. The tight structure supports team members to be open and honest in their assessment.

stages of team development with examples

You approach your team to learn about their bottlenecks, roadblocks and concerns. You come to realize that, by involving yourself, they’re burdened by an apprehension to speak up and would rather spend time rectifying the situation. In this meeting, you take notes from each team member and apply these to your team principles. This way, each employee knows they can trust you, and each other going forward.


However, something’s not quite right, and everyone can sense it — unexpectedly, tension builds as the final stage looms large. Her ideas are sometimes different from Stella’s — to everyone’s delight, as this only helps when the writers reach a creative dead end. In this stage, you and your team get to enjoy synergy — a state where work flows smoothly. Of course, you can only move on to this more pleasant stage if you’ve addressed and answered all the vital questions from the previous, Storming Stage. Now, this is where things get tense for Adam, Daisy, Daniel, and Stella as they set their plan into motion — and find their opinions and personalities are at odds with each other. To clarify how this step could develop, let’s explore a real-life example of the Storming Stage.

Accomplishments in team process or progress are measured and celebrated. During the Forming stage of team development, team members are usually excited to be part of the team and eager about the work ahead. Members often have high positive expectations for the team experience. At the same time, machine learning and ai they may also feel some anxiety, wondering how they will fit in to the team and if their performance will measure up. Choose a project management software that lets you plan the entire project and assign deadlines and responsibilities so everyone can see what tasks need to be accomplished.

The Secret Recipe to Building High Performing Teams

However, you won’t get far with your project by sweeping vital questions and potential problems under the rug. Daisy is an experienced SEO specialist, Adam and Daniel work as longtime writers, and Stella brings to the table her editing skills. Yet, the position of this unofficial leader may also be occupied by the strongest authority figure in the team.

stages of team development with examples

Organize the agenda so that each team member has five to ten minutes to talk through their insights and ideas. Allow extra time to review the ideas the team shares and to answer questions. At the end of the project, set up an online meeting where team members come together to discuss the entire project, from the successes to the frustrations. Ask them to prepare examples beforehand outlining what worked and what didn’t, and then give each person five minutes to share their thoughts.

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Activities include; introductions, icebreakers that foster familiarization, and sessions to understand the project. 9 Dimensions is a powerful activity designed to build relationships and trust among team members. Effective managers will often take the opportunity to help people get to know each other in a safe environment and share themselves meaningfully. For some groups, the idea of getting to know you activities elicits a collective groan.

They’ll look to you for guidance and support, and when you establish a trusting two-way conversation, you’ll pave the way towards their professional growth. They feel confident and comfortable when approaching you with concerns and questions. After the storming stage, they recognize behavioural patterns, strengths and develop foresight for upcoming roadblocks. This way, they’ll remain high-performing while re-establishing trusted connections.

Stages of Team Development and How to Implement Them

You can use an onboarding checklist to keep things in check at this stage. It is challenging for people to define their team goals and roles because they have no experience working in teams. They don’t know each other well enough to depend on each other for their specific expertise or knowledge. During this stage, team members can often be excited, anxious, or uncertain of their place within a team and will try to figure out their role in the group. The role of the team leader is especially vital during Forming, as group members will look to them for guidance, direction, and leadership. Each stage of team development doesn’t necessarily take just as much time as the one that comes after it, nor the one before it.

stages of team development with examples

Most high-performing teams go through five stages of team development. Behaviors during the Norming stage may include members making a conscious effort to resolve problems and achieve group harmony. There might be more frequent and more meaningful communication among team members, and an increased willingness to share ideas or ask teammates for help.

Signs and questions to look out for in the performing stage

As such, it’s vital you document learning points and strategies that have worked for you and your team while Performing so you can apply them again in the future. The forming stage occurs when the team members initially come together. A team leader is established, and the various members learn their roles and responsibilities.

Why are 5 Stages of Team Development Essential?

At this stage, the team might meet more often than not and communicate physically and digitally with office phone systems and video conferencing tools. And this would lead to an increase in team’s productivity and performance. Before the discord and disharmony could eat deep into the team and revert it back to the storming stage, they are promptly resolved as they arise. Members of the team have learnt to accept each other regardless of their differences. Instead, they concentrate on the negative feelings they have towards each other and the team at large.


‘Team-building’ and ‘Team Development’ are often used interchangeably. And while they both involve bringing people together, they are different in their aims, strategies, and outcomes. This stage aims to acknowledge accomplishments while bringing closure to the team’s work.

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