Tuckman’s Stages of Development
Dr. Bruch Tuckman created a model that discusses the different stages a team goes through as team members learn to work together more effectively.
- During the ‘Forming’ stage, team members begin to figure out their roles on the team.
- People try to seek clarity
- During the ‘Storming’ stage, team members try to understand how to interact with each other, knowing that there may differences of opinion
- The team may have groupism, favoritism or politics
- The team slowly begins to form
- During the ‘Norming’ stage, there is a shared understanding of the team’s goal and purpose for working together
- Team members collaborate together to work out difficulties
- team members know their roles, and make project decisions together
- team members begin to trust each other
- During the ‘Performing’ stage, the team is thinking more strategically and clear
- More trust in each other, and issues tend to be more of the technical nature, rather than interpersonal ones
The above model is a good theoretical guideline for how teams may be moving along during the project, but in reality teams do not move in a linear phase. A team can be in multiple simultaneously at any given time. This depends on the attitude and approach of the team members towards the project. Some team members work well together from the very beginning, and some take time to build trust.
As time progresses, the team becomes more efficient with project execution and gains its autonomy. Hence, PM needs to transition from being authoritative to being supportive.
This will enable the PM to make better decisions, help in faster problem solving and boost team members’ soft and hard skills during the course of the project.