Software developmentHow to empower your team at every stage of development

How to empower your team at every stage of development

Graffius has delighted audiences with talks and workshops on technology leadership and agile project, program, portfolio, and PMO management at 82 conferences and other events across 24 countries. As people begin to feel safer, they will push the boundaries set up by the team in the forming stage—and conflicts may begin to erupt. At this stage people avoid conflict and “play nice” with each other because they want to be accepted into the group. The group is learning about the objectives and goals – getting a feel for the work that must be done together. People tend to focus on practical details – who, what, when and where and work reasonably independently at this stage – while they learn where they and everyone else fits into the team.

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Supervisors during this phase may be more accessible, but tend to remain directive in their guidance of decision-making and professional behaviour. The team members will therefore resolve their differences and members will be able to participate with one another more comfortably. The ideal is that they will not feel that they are being judged, and will therefore share their opinions and views. The forming stage of team development is the first step in team bonding.

What is the most important stage of team development?

You don’t wait to be told how to do your job – you determine the best way to meet your objectives and get on with it. As a project progresses through different phases some team members will leave the project, others will join and some will move into new positions within the project. This means the stages described above are always happening. In 1965, Bruce Tuckerman postulated the 4 stages of group development when building a team.

Problems and conflicts still emerge, but they are dealt with constructively. The team is focused on problem solving and meeting team goals. The storming stage is the most difficult and critical stage to pass through. It is a period marked by conflict and competition as individual personalities emerge. Team performance may actually decrease in this stage because energy is put into unproductive activities.

team building phases

Encouraging the notion that feedback should be given after every meeting makes it easier for team members to air their views. Establishing ground rules from the get-go ensures they get followed as the group moves from one stage to the next. A critical rule to emphasize is that team members should always listen to each other and feel free to consult and raise concerns. No idea is too stupid to raise, and no question is too silly to ask. That can only happen if a solid foundation gets laid and communication channels are kept open. As the name suggests, team development entails training and supporting a group of individuals so that they work as a cohesive unit to realize the intended outcome.

Stages of Team Development

In addition, as well as taking specific action we can also decide to simply model great behaviour for others. Hopefully the cycle is shorter the next time around, especially if team members are aware. And a good leader watches for these shifts in order to step in and support the team back to higher levels of group functioning.

team building phases

But first, let’s touch more on how team members grow to develop bonds with each other. This is where the Tuckman Model of team development comes in handy. To grow from this stage, team members need to build their collaborative ability. They need to learn how each individual team member operates and become skilled in coordinating their activities.

Create Environments Where People Belong

The team also needs a strong team leader who helps direct and keeps the team to task. This team lead works with the group and develops them into a functioning work machine. Maintaining an effective team is much like maintaining a garden; if left unattended, it loses its ability to thrive. Team development ensures that the team can thrive in the long term. There are other advantages to tracking your time with an app though. When you know how long a process takes, you can identify areas that could be made more efficient.

Team development will have your team be as successful and as high performing as possible. Learn how these 5 stages will create a high-functioning unit. These stages are steps in the team building process and are similar to team building best practices. During the Norming stage, members shift their energy to the team’s goals and show an increase in productivity, in both individual and collective work. The team may find that this is an appropriate time for an evaluation of team processes and productivity.

For the team to perform at its best, a good leader will encourage creative conflicts and help celebrate and reward achievements. This empowers the team, especially if the leader steps back once a team is performing. This is when the team has developed processes that work for the team and people follow them. Notice what stage their team is at, helping team members to process and acknowledge the inevitable conflicts and changes during group development.

In other words, a team doesn’t develop from start to finish overnight. Regardless of the tools used for team development, the process must be maintained through long-term awareness. As strong personalities emerge, team leaders should ensure these individuals don’t inadvertently dominate the rest of the team and the project’s outcomes. An easy way to do so is by encouraging everyone’s participation in team activities. Once the storming stage gets navigated, the team can achieve a better dynamic.

How Can Leaders Initiate Team Development?

When you have been on a team, how did you know how to act? How did you know what behaviors were acceptable or what level of performance was required? Teams usually develop norms that guide the activities of team members. Team norms set a standard for behavior, attitude, and performance that all team members are expected to follow.

Even if you pick all the best people, you are not guaranteed to get a dream squad. But with Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, he helped create one of the most unstoppable forces basketball had ever seen. Plus, having clearly defined goals makes it easier for workers to get in the zone later on. Clear goals will give them a guidepost to judge all their future action. Measure both the team’s and each individual’s overall performance to quantify all contributions. Minimize concerns around the potential for the team to lose momentum or dissolve by managing change and future expectations.

team building phases

They will waste time and lose their focus if they have to answer frequent, unscheduled questions about what they’re working on. Encourage team members to develop a schedule filled with large blocks of time that are free from interruptions like meetings or check-ins. In this world of constant notifications, it’s easy for people to get derailed and forget which goals are really important. This is especially important for creative and development teams.

The stages of team development

These interventions, taken at the right time, will allow your teams to develop and successfully meet their common goals. An organization is only as strong as the teams it creates to handle various projects. For this reason, organizations should invest four stages of team development in team development since it impacts the bottom line significantly. Developing an effective team is akin to maintaining a garden. The five stages of team development go a long way in ensuring that your teams thrive and that conflicts are kept minimal.

And, now that you’ve figured out established practices that help you collaborate effectively, share those with other teams. As a new project phase starts new teams are formed and the members will go through the stages. New team members joining established teams will go through a very personal version of the stages as they settle in.

  • Alasdair A. K. White together with his colleague, John Fairhurst, examined Tuckman’s development sequence when developing the White-Fairhurst TPR model.
  • Also, team members begin to clearly see others’ strengths and accept their weaknesses.
  • Team members may feel a variety of concerns about the team’s impending dissolution.
  • That said, without direction and consideration, this process can be time-consuming, messy, or even frustrating and alienating for some team members.
  • Initially, during the forming and storming stages, norms focus on expectations for attendance and commitment.

The most commonly used framework for a team’s stages of development was developed in the mid-1960s by Bruce W. Tuckman. Although many authors have written variations and enhancements to Tuckman’s work, his descriptions of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing provide a useful framework for looking at your own team. When teams work in the same space, it’s easy to see what everyone’s doing. Designers are talking to product managers to get direction, or product managers meet with analysts to talk about user data and reports.

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Healthy teams foster creativity – a critical component to a thriving organization. Rickards and Moger proposed a similar extension to the Tuckman model when a group breaks out of its norms, through a process of creative problem-solving. To advance from this stage to the next stage, each member must relinquish the comfort zone of non-threatening topics and risk the possibility of conflict. When one person fails to complete a task, the rest of the group suffers. Tell teams what they are doing right as well as what they need to improve.

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Close to half of executives who responded to a Deloitte survey believe better collaboration will help them increase employee retention. For instance, if the team developed a new work process to improve the customer experience, one of its team members may now have responsibility for overseeing that new and improved process. This stage can also mean a change in an employee’s job responsibilities and expectations. They have learned to work together and have some momentum in the team process. In this stage team members are comfortable with each other and utilize their different perspectives to find workable solutions.

During the forming stage, it’s common to talk about:

Behaviors during the Norming stage may include members making a conscious effort to resolve problems and achieve group harmony. There might be more frequent and more meaningful communication among team members, and an increased willingness to share ideas or ask teammates for help. Team members refocus on established team groundrules and practices and return their focus to the team’s tasks. Teams may begin to develop their own language or inside jokes.

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