How Leveraging the Phases of Team Development -- Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning -- Can Help Your Teams Be Happier and More Productive

Scott-M-Graffius---Phases-of-Team-Development-2021-Update---LR-for-Blog

🔥 The Phases of Team Development illustration was updated. The newest version is here.

2021 Update

Teams (agile or otherwise) go through phases of development, and Dr. Bruce Tuckman established a popular and durable
framework on the subject. According to Dr. Tuckman, all phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning—are necessary for teams to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results.

Agile project management thought leader, influencer, and author Scott M. Graffius developed a related custom illustration, Phases of Team Development. It highlights the performance level, characteristics, and proven strategies for each of the phases. Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, DevOps Leads, and other professional can apply the information to help handle challenges or issues experienced by teams. By doing so, they’ll advance the teams' happiness and productivity, as well as the teams' (and their own) success. Graffius updates the content periodically.

He released an updated version of the visual on January 4, 2021. This article features the new version of the Phases of Team Development illustration along with an overview of the characteristics and key strategies for each phase. The new image is shown below. Read on for details including information on permission requests and downloadable high-resolution versions of the visual.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

Five Phases of Team Development

1. Forming


Characteristics of Forming include displaying eagerness, socializing, generally polite tone, sticking to safe topics, being unclear about how one fits in, and some anxiety and questioning. Strategies for this phase include taking the ‘lead,’ being highly visible, facilitating introductions, providing the ‘big picture,’ establishing clear expectations, communicating success criteria, and ensuring that response times are quick.

2. Storming

Traits of Storming include resistance, lack of participation, conflict related to differences of feelings and opinions, competition, high emotions, and starting to move towards group norms. Strategies for this phase include requesting and encouraging feedback, identifying issues and facilitating their resolution, normalizing matters, and building trust by honoring commitments.

3. Norming

Features of Norming include an improved sense of purpose and understanding of goals, higher confidence, improved commitment, team members are engaged and supportive, relief—lowered anxiety, and starting to develop cohesion. Strategies for this phase include recognizing individual and team efforts, proving opportunities for learning and feedback, and monitoring the ‘energy’ of the team.

4. Performing

Characteristics of Performing include higher motivation, elevated trust and empathy, individuals typically deferring to the team's needs, effective production, consistent performance, and demonstrations of interdependence and self-management (also referred to as self-organization). Strategies for this phase include ‘guiding from the side’ (minimal intervention), celebrating successes, and encouraging collective decision-making and problem-solving.

5. Adjourning

Typical traits of Adjourning (also referred to as Transitioning or Mourning) include a shift to process orientation, sadness, recognition of team and individual efforts, and disbanding. Strategies for this phase include recognizing change, providing an opportunity for summative team evaluations (which may go by
lessons learned, post-project review, retrospective, or another label), providing an opportunity for individual acknowledgments, and celebrating the team's accomplishments—which may involve a party and possibly an after-party.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

As shown, performance fluctuates as teams move through the phases. Review the characteristics to help identify the team's current phase, then apply the corresponding proven strategies to help them advance.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

Permission Requests and Downloadable High-Resolution Versions of Visual

🔥 The Phases of Team Development illustration was updated. The newest version is here.

For permission requests, contact the email address noted in the illustration.

Downloadable high-resolution versions of the visual are at the following locations:

  • select here for the JPG image file, and

  • select here for the PNG image file.

Citation: Graffius, Scott M. (2021). Phases of Team Development. Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.13140/RG.2.2.22040.42246. DOI link: https://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.22040.42246.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

Bibliography

Select list of publications

  • Alford, J. (2019, April 11). Our Co-Production Journey: From Sandpits to Bird Boxes. London, United Kingdom: Imperial College London.
  • Bennett, M., Gadlin, H., & Marchand, C. (2018). Collaboration Team Science: Field Guide. Rockville, MD: National Institutes of Health.
  • Couture, N. (2016, October 27). A Note About Teams. CIO. Boston, MA: International Data Group (IDG).
  • Daly, L. (2002). Identify Your Project Management Team’s Level of Development and Facilitate It to Success. Paper presented at Project Management Institute Annual Seminars and Symposium, San Antonio, TX. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
  • Deloitte (2017). Digital Era Technology Operating Models, Volume 2. New York, NY: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.
  • Finkelstein, S. (2017, October 29). Why Companies Should Hire Teams, Not Individuals. The Wall Street Journal. New York, NY: The Wall Street Journal.
  • Forbes (2018, April 23). How to Fast-Track Any Team to Success. Forbes. New York, NY: Forbes.
  • Forbes (2012, October 27). How the iPad Mini is Defining Tim Cook’s Apple. Forbes. New York, NY: Forbes.
  • Glover, P. (2012, March 13). Team Conflict: Why It’s a Good Thing. Fast Company. New York, NY: Mansueto Ventures.
  • Graffius, Scott M. (2021). Phases of Team Development. Los Angeles, CA: Scott M. Graffius. Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.13140/RG.2.2.22040.42246. 
  • Jovanovic, M., Mesquida, A., Radaković, N., & Mas, A. (2016). Agile Retrospective Games for Different Team Development Phases. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 22: 1489-1508.
  • Kane, G. C. (2014, October 7). Why Your Company is Probably Measuring Social Media Wrong. MIT Sloan Management Review. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan Management Review.
  • KPMG (2017). The Digital Fund, Season 2. Amstelveen, Netherlands: KPMG International.
  • Madden, D. (2019, May 19). The Four Stages of Building a Great Team – and the One Where Things Usually Go Wrong. Inc. Magazine. New York, NY: Inc. Magazine.
  • Makar, A. (2011, July 13). Lessons Learned in Norming and Performing Team Development Phases. Louisville, KY: TechRepublic.
  • Martinuzzi, B. (2012, June 8). Six Tips Guaranteed to Reduce Workplace Frustrations. New York, NY: American Express Company.
  • Microsoft (2019, June 15). Is the Latest Technology the Key to Your Team’s Success, or is There Something Else? Microsoft Developer Support. Accessed at: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/premier-developer/is-the-latest-technology-the-key-to-your-teams-success-or-is-there-something-else. Redmond, WA: Microsoft.
  • Mocko, G., & Linnerud, B. (2016). Measuring the Effects of Goal Alignment on Innovative Engineering Design Projects. International Journal of Engineering Education, 32: 55-63.
  • Romanelli, M. (2019, September 11). Teamwork Accelerated. PM Times. Newmarket, Ontario, Canada: Macgregor Communications.
  • Riggs, A. (2020, October 15). Why I Start All My Video Meetings with Collaborative Games (Spoiler: It’s Not Boredom). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: The Next Web (TNW).
  • Rowley, D., & Lange, M. (2007). Forming to Performing: The Evolution of an Agile Team. IEEE Computer Society Proceedings. Agile 2007, 1: 408-414.
  • Scrum Alliance (2020). Learning Objectives Examples. Denver, CO: Scrum Alliance.
  • Sakpal, M. (2020, March 3. Learn How to Debunk These Five Restructuring Myths. Stamford, CT: Gartner, Inc.
  • Stern, S. (2018, September 26). Is Your Team Working the Rory Underwood Way? Financial Times. London, United Kingdom: The Financial Times, a Nikkei Company.
  • Telford, R. (2013, June 4). This is Where It Gets Interesting. Armonk, NY: International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation.
  • Tuckman, B. W. (1965). Developmental Sequence in Small Groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63: 384-399.
  • Tuckman, B. W., & Jensen, M. A. C. (1977). Stages of Small-Group Development Revisited. Group and Organizational Studies, 2 (4): 419-427.
  • United States Army (2015). Innovative Learning: A Key to National Security. Washington, DC: United States Army.
  • Watkins, M. D. (2016, June). Leading the Team You Inherit. Harvard Business Review. Brighton, MA: Harvard Business Publishing.
  • World Health Organization (2012). Being an Effective Team Player. Accessed at: https://www.who.int/patientsafety/education/curriculum/course4_handout.pdf. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Scott M. Graffius


ScottGraffius-181024_1000x1000_152KB-lowres-sq

Scott M. Graffius, PMP, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, ITIL, LSSGB is an agile project management practitioner, consultant, award-winning author (Agile Scrum and Agile Transformation), and international speaker. Content from his books, speaking engagements, and more has been featured and used by media outlets, publications, businesses, governments, and universities including Yahoo Finance, Computer Weekly, Innovation Project Management, MobileAppDaily, Gartner, Oracle, Cisco, RSA, Ford, Liberty Mutual Group, Qantas, Atlassian, Bayer, Bosch, the National Academy of Sciences, the United States Department of Energy, the United States Army, the New Zealand Ministry of Education, Tufts University, James Madison University, Santa Clara University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Tech, and others. Thinkers360 named Scott a global top thought leader and influencer in three domains: Agile, Digital Transformation, and GovTech. His full-length bio is available here.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions

Scott_M_Graffius_-_Agile_Scrum_-_If_Youre_Interested_or_Involved_-_v22020507-EXC-BLG-LR-SQ

A fantastic agile transformation experience and result with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott M. Graffius’s multi award-winning book,
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions (ISBN-13: 978-1533370242).

Here's an excerpt from the book: "Shifting customer needs are common in today's marketplace. Businesses must be adaptive and responsive to change while delivering an exceptional customer experience to be competitive. Traditional development and delivery frameworks such as waterfall are often ineffective. In contrast, Scrum is a value-driven agile approach which incorporates adjustments based on regular and repeated customer and stakeholder feedback. And Scrum’s built-in rapid response to change leads to substantial benefits such as fast time-to-market, higher satisfaction, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage."

With clear and easy to follow instructions, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions helps you:

  • Implement and use the most popular agile framework―Scrum;
  • Deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement; and
  • Support innovation and drive competitive advantage.

Hailed by Literary Titan as “the book highlights the versatility of Scrum beautifully.”

Winner of 17 first place awards.

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow. Get your copy today!

🇦🇺 Australia
🇦🇹 Austria
🇧🇪 Belgium
🇧🇷 Brazil
🇨🇦 Canada
🇨🇿 Czech Republic
🇩🇰 Denmark
🇫🇮 Finland
🇫🇷 France
🇩🇪 Germany
🇬🇷 Greece
🇭🇺 Hungary
🇮🇳 India
🇮🇪 Ireland
🇮🇱 Israel
🇮🇹 Italy
🇯🇵 Japan
🇱🇺 Luxembourg
🇲🇽 Mexico
🇳🇱 Netherlands
🇳🇿 New Zealand
🇳🇴 Norway
🇪🇸 Spain
🇸🇪 Sweden
🇨🇭 Switzerland
🇦🇪 UAE
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
🇺🇸 United States

🌏 More countries

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change

Agile_Transformation_Book_by_Scott_M_Graffius_-_v20220316TYPFIX-LR-SQ

Thriving in today's marketplace frequently depends on making a transformation to become more agile. Those successful in the transition enjoy faster delivery speed and ROI, higher satisfaction, continuous improvement, and additional benefits.
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change (ISBN-13: 978-1072447962) provides a revealing behind-the-scenes story about an actual successful agile implementation at a global entertainment company.

The award-winning book — a quick (60-90 minute) read — is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle formats in the
United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.


🇦🇺 Australia
🇦🇹 Austria
🇧🇷 Brazil
🇨🇦 Canada
🇨🇿 Czech Republic
🇩🇰 Denmark
🇫🇮 Finland
🇫🇷 France
🇩🇪 Germany
🇬🇷 Greece
🇮🇳 India
🇮🇪 Ireland
🇯🇵 Japan
🇱🇺 Luxembourg
🇲🇽 Mexico
🇳🇱 Netherlands
🇳🇿 New Zealand
🇪🇸 Spain
🇸🇪 Sweden
🇨🇭 Switzerland
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
🇺🇸 United States

🌏 More countries

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions

Exceptional_PPM_and_PMO_Solutions_-_We_Provide_Client_Organizations_-_-v220205-MtnTopSuccess-EXC-EA-LR-SQ

Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions helps client organizations strengthen their project management capabilities and realize their strategic objectives and business initiatives. The firm provides advisory, training, and facilitative consulting services related to project, program, portfolio, and PMO management inclusive of agile, waterfall, and hybrid approaches. While every engagement is unique, business outcomes typically include getting more projects done, faster delivery and time-to-market, improved on-budget performance, better management of risks, improved customer and stakeholder satisfaction, more consistent realization of business results, and greater competitive advantage. Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions provides a Delighted Client Guarantee™. For details, visit https://www.Exceptional-PMO.com.

Exceptional_PPM_and_PMO_Solutions_-_Pro_Bono_-_v-22012707-LR-SQ

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

Let's Connect

exc-li-badge-19093011-lr-squashed

Connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

The short URLs for this blog post are http://bit.ly/tuckman-2021 and http://bit.ly/2021-t.

© Copyright 2021 Scott M. Graffius, Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius/Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™.













custom - back to main page of blog