I.C.2 Stages of Team Development
Excerpt From The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence Handbook
Teams will progress through stages of growth and maturity as the members work together over time. Understanding these development stages is valuable for the effective management of the team process. The stages can vary in intensity and duration depending on the type of team, the environment in which it works, and the individuals who constitute it. A generic model for the phases of team development, described by Tuckman,4 is shown in Figure 3.3:
- Stage 1: Forming. When team members first come together, they bring with them individual identities and the values and the priorities of their usual environment. Each team is a new experience, even for those who have previously been members of teams. Individuals enter this situation cautiously, feeling uncertain of what their role and performance will be in this new environment. During the forming stage, the team usually clarifies its purpose, identifies roles for each member, and defines rules of acceptable behavior (often called norms).
- Stage 2: Storming. During this phase, the reality of the team’s task sinks in. Team members still think primarily as individuals, and might attempt to form decisions on the basis of their individual experiences rather than pooling information with other members. Collaboration has not yet become the norm as team members fluctuate in their attitude about the team’s chances for success. The behaviors exhibited during this time may involve argument, testing the leader’s authority, attempts to redefine goals, and competitive or defensive acts.
- Stage 3: Norming. In this phase, the individuals coalesce into a team by shifting their focus from personal concerns to that of meeting the team-related challenges. Interpersonal conflicts and the tug of external loyalties are reduced. Team members are willing to discuss differences for the sake of the team, resulting in more cooperation and dialogue.
- Stage 4: Performing. At this stage, the team has matured to the point where it is working as a smooth, cohesive unit. Team members have a good understanding of each other ’s strengths and weaknesses and how they support the mission, and are now able to work through group problems. There is a better appreciation of the team’s processes and a general satisfaction with team membership. During this phase, the team is making significant progress toward achieving its goals.
I.C Teams and Team Processes
I.C.2 Stages of team development - Define and describe the classic stages of team development: forming, storming, norming, performing.
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