Tuckman (1965) identified a series of stages that teams go through in their journey together.

  1. Forming: The team is newly developing. The team works to form expectations and to develop trust.
  2. Storming: The newly formed team struggles with power and control issues, expressing differences of opinion. At this stage, the team may wonder how it will move beyond these tensions. It is helpful to realize that this is a normal stage of team development, and if the team perseveres and maintains its commitment to the task and each other (as outlined in the team charter), the stage will pass.
  3. Norming: Members agree on processes for working together, and can make decisions through negotiation and consensus.
  4. Performing: The team is working together collaboratively to achieve results. The team shares in a common identity.
  5. Adjourning: The team finishes its task and celebrates its successes.
Staircase graphic with task behaviours and interpersonal behaviours for Tuckman's Stages of team development: Forming:  establishing base level expectations  identifying similarities  agreeing on common goals Forming  making contact/bonding  developing trust  members are dependent; Storming:  identifying power and control issues  gaining skills in communication  identifying resources Storming  expressing differences of ideas, feelings and opinions  reacting to leadership  members independent/ counterdependent; Norming:  members agree about roles and processes for problem solving Norming  decisions are made through negotiation and consensus building;  achieving effective and satisfying results  members find solutions to problems using appropriate controls Performing  members work collaboratively  members care about each other  group establishes a unique identity

Now that you have reviewed the ways that a team can move on in their development, apply your knowledge to team dilemmas in the quiz below. 

Learn more about team development and the action steps you can take at each stage with this 2-page resource.

Reference: Tuckman, B.W. (1965) ‘Developmental sequence in small groups’, Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384-399. Reprinted in Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal ,Number 3, Spring 2001