Tuckman's stages of team development

Tuckman's stages of team development

Tuckman argued that teams tend to progress through a number of defined stages in their development.


Tuckman helps identify what needs to be done to weld the team together. The stages are:

  • Forming - at this initial stage, the group is no more than a collection of individuals who are seeking to define the purpose of the group and how it will operate.
  • Storming - most groups go through this conflict stage. In this stage norms of attitude, behaviour, etc., are challenged and rejected. Members compete for chosen roles within the group. If successful, this stage will have forged a stronger team with greater knowledge of each other and their objectives.
  • Norming - this stage establishes the norms under which the group will operate. Members experiment and test group reaction as the norms become established. Typically, the norming stage will establish how the group will take decisions, behaviour patterns, level of trust and openness, individual's roles, etc.
  • Performing - once this final stage has been reached, the group is capable of operating to full potential, since the difficulties of adjustment, leadership contests, etc should have been resolved.

All groups do not automatically follow these four stages in this sequence. Not all groups pass through all the stages - some get stuck in the middle and remain inefficient and ineffective.

More recently a fifth stage has been added to Tuckman's original four.

  • Dorming - if a team remains for a long time in the performing phase, there is a danger that it will be operating on automatic pilot. 'Groupthink' occurs to the extent that the group may be unaware of changing circumstances. Instead, maintaining the team becomes one of its prime objectives.
Created at 8/9/2012 2:51 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
Last modified at 11/13/2012 5:31 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

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