Team Development: Five stages of Tuckman

The Tuckman model, also known as Tuckman’s stages of group development, was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. Tuckman’s original model consisted of four stages: forming, storming, norming and performing. Later, in 1977, Tuckman added a fifth stage “adjourning” to reflect the end of the group’s life cycle. Tuckman’s model has become one of the most widely recognized and widely used models of team development in the field of psychology and management.

Team development, also known as team formation, is the process that a team goes through from its formation to its disbandment. It’s a natural process that teams go through as they work together over time. There are several different models of team development, but one of the most widely accepted models is Tuckman’s stages of group development.

The five stages of Tuckman’s model are:

  1. Forming: This is the initial stage of team development, where team members come together and begin to establish goals, roles, and ground rules. During this stage, team members are polite and formal with one another, trying to establish trust and a sense of cohesion.
  2. Storming: This is the stage where team members begin to express their opinions and feelings, and conflicts may arise. This stage is characterized by disagreements and competing agendas, but it’s also an opportunity for team members to get to know one another better and establish a more productive working relationship.
  3. Norming: This is the stage where team members begin to work together more effectively, resolving conflicts and establishing a sense of unity. Team members develop a sense of cohesion, and the team starts to function more efficiently.
  4. Performing: This is the stage where the team begins to work together seamlessly and achieve its goals. Team members trust and respect one another and are able to work together to accomplish their objectives.
  5. Adjourning: This is the final stage of team development, when the team begins to disband. Team members may experience feelings of sadness and loss, but they also reflect on their accomplishments and the experiences they shared.

It’s important to note that these stages are not linear, and a team may revisit previous stages or may not go through all the stages. Also, some teams may move through the stages more quickly or slowly than others. Understanding the phases and dynamics of team development can help managers and leaders to better support and guide their teams throughout the process.