Some teams skip over the storming stage or try to avoid conflict at whatever cost. But, because this stage focuses more on the people than on the work, your team probably won’t be very productive yet. 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.

stages of team development

Selected articles about Drupal, web development, and marketing delivered to your inbox twice a month. Team members who are afraid of changes or have become close friends with their colleagues may find this stage difficult since their future now looks uncertain. This stage requires the leader’s utmost attention and involvement. Understanding payroll taxes and who’s required to pay them Want to learn more about payroll taxes and who pays them? Build trust among team members, by encouraging honesty, transparency, and accountability.

Building a Strong Team: The Stages of Team Development

The skills of each member are fully optimized, supervision is almost never needed, and members feel a strong sense of trust in one another. Teammates move beyond the introductory forming stage and start putting plans into action. At this point, teammates have built up enough trust to feel safe sharing honest opinions with the others. In terms of the dating metaphor, this stage is akin to a couple’s first fight, a disagreement over something silly like a comment over a movie or a mess in the sink.

During the Performing stage, all team members are working at an optimal level. The adjourning or mourning stage of team development is where the group parts ways. The project has reached its natural end, and group members acknowledge that while the group has found success, it is time for the team to split and move on to new challenges.

Decoded! The 5 Stages of Team Development Explained

Communication affects nearly every aspect of teamwork—from interpersonal discussions and the exchange of ideas to communication about progress and results. Once their efforts are under way, team members need clarity about their activities and goals, as well as explicit guidance about how they will work independently and collectively. This leads to a period known as storming—because it can involve brainstorming ideas and also because it usually causes disruption. During the storming stage members begin to share ideas about what to do and how to do it that compete for consideration.

stages of team development

In this world of constant notifications, it’s easy for people to get derailed and forget which goals are really important. This is especially important for creative stages of team development and development teams. While working on a high-performing team may be a truly pleasurable and growthful experience, it is not the end of team development.


The forming stage is truly a honeymoon phase in teamwork—productivity is low, but the team members are too newly acquainted to encounter conflict. While all phases of team building are important, many leaders consider storming to be the most important stage of team development. During the storming stage, team members encounter initial obstacles and master conflict resolution. This is one of the most crucial points for building trust and forming resilient relationships.

Later, he added the fifth stage, “adjourning” (which is sometimes known as “mourning”). With a large group of people, lots of unique problems can arise that slow down the teamwork process and keep the team leader distracted from the most important parts of project management. This stage occurs when team members are adjusting to each other and settling into their roles on the project. There will be a lot less arguing and planning and more working with one another. Team members will be tired of conflicting ideas and work harder to solve problems and reach the best state possible for the group to achieve.

Four Stages of Team Development

Team members should continue to deepen their knowledge and skills, including working to continuously improving team development. As the team begins to move towards its goals, members discover that the team can’t live up to all of their early excitement and expectations. At the same time, they may also feel some anxiety, wondering how they will fit in to the team and if their performance will measure up. This stage of Tuckman’s team development model lasts for some time as people start working together, getting to know each other and their responsibilities. A leaderstrives to unlock their team members’ potential by achieving the project goal, while a manager simply distributes tasks.

Feedback is critical to improving your team’s performance while navigating through the five stages. In this regard, consider ending each meeting with constructive and insightful feedback to enhance the group process. Encouraging the notion that feedback should be given after every meeting makes it easier for team members to air their views. In this stage, the team comes together for the first time, and members get to know each other. The forming stage is often slow and casual since it primarily involves members getting acquainted.

#2 Storming Stage

Make sure everyone steps back each day or week to take a look at the larger picture. Some teams do come to an end, when their work is completed or when the organization’s needs change. While not part of Tuckman’s original model, it is important for any team to pay attention to the end or termination process.

  • Interpersonal differences begin to be resolved, and a sense of cohesion and unity emerges.
  • Tuckman’s model of group development is the very basics of team management, and I believe most of you are familiar with them.
  • At this stage, the 4-strong team makes things happen with plenty of empathy, and everybody offers a hand to the person in need.
  • As you add people to the team, pay attention to what qualities and skills you’ll need to complete the project.
  • This is the stage when things begin to settle down as your team finds their groove.

A deep understanding of each other’s communication preferences and work habits means that any internal conflicts are limited and managed effectively, even without a manager’s oversight. Team members now see each other’s differences as strengths—everyone fits and has a role to play. Engaging team development benefits the team in a number of ways. Individual members of a team learn more about their personal potential, duties, and work dynamically within the team.