5 Stages of Team Development and How to Implement Them

Have you ever wondered how successful companies build effective teams and adapt to meet their ever-changing responsibilities?

May 17, 2022
Press the button to generate random icebreaker questions.
There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

Have you ever wondered how successful organizations build effective teams and continually adapt overtime to meet their ever-changing responsibilities? 

Team Development.

Team Development provides a structured framework for companies to facilitate productivity, performance, and effectiveness. It allows employees and managers to make the most of the stages of team development to boost teamwork and efficiency within the organization.

Developing a cohesive and effective team is a challenge most modern businesses face because different people make up a team, and people function differently. However, every team's ability to function effectively depends on individual contributions and interactions. 

The first step in implementing a practical team development framework is understanding what it is and why you need it. 

So, let's explore team development.

What is meant by team development?

Team development can be defined as the process of enhancing the effectiveness of a group of people working towards a common goal. It's a process that can apply to any team, from a small project team to an entire organization.

There are five stages to any team's development process: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. While these stages are sequential, they also overlap as groups form new relationships over time.

Bruce Tuckman developed this framework in 1965. Often called Tuckman's stages of group development, this framework has, over time, been beneficial for both individuals and organizations.

At the core, team development is a process that grooms different individuals working independently to cooperate and work together to execute goals and responsibilities cohesively.  

The framework builds character, allowing team members to grow, become more effective, improve interaction and boost confidence.

What are the five stages of team development?

To build a solid and effective team, we need to understand the five stages of team development and how to implement them.

- Forming

- Storming

- Norming

- Performing

- Adjourning

Forming:

Here, there is no clear vision of what the team should be. It is challenging for people to define their roles because they have no experience working in teams. They don't know each other well enough to depend on each other for their specific expertise or knowledge. During this time, team members need to try and establish common ground. It's okay for your team to stay here for a while before moving on to the next stage.

What is an example of team development in this stage?

This stage aims to get the team members acquainted. Activities include; introductions, icebreakers that foster familiarization, and sessions to understand the project.

Scenarios:

The interns can meet the facilitators to discuss their relevant backgrounds to your organization, including why they enrolled and what they want to learn from the internship. This allows team members to start relating and thinking about possible ideas for future collaboration. You can use an onboarding checklist to keep things in check at this stage. 

Interns can also receive their first task and instructions after briefs on the project or client. And get periodic check-ins and meetings to discuss progress and challenges.

Storming:

In this stage, conflict may arise as people express their opinions and differences in views surface. As the team grows, they start learning the best way to achieve their goals as a group. The key is resolving issues quickly and not letting arguments get out of hand.

What is an example of team development in this stage?

This stage aims to ease tensions and resolve conflicts. Activities include; conversations on how far the team has come, activities that help members work together to solve problems, words of encouragement, and active conflict resolution. A SWOT analysis workflow will also be helpful in this stage to evaluate tasks clearly. 

Scenarios:

The interns are beginning to have more meetings and spend time together. And people are getting pissed from seeing each other's weaknesses. The outreach intern gets upset because the intern lead submits their lesson plans at the last minute, but they have different responsibilities. They need to communicate and find a middle ground to resolve the issue.

Norming:

Here, team members begin to settle down. They start to work through their differences and come up with solutions that benefit each other. They eventually start to understand how each person works best and how they can support one another's efforts toward a common goal. Team members tend to be more polite during this stage since they're learning how to work together effectively. But, there's still a tendency to revert to their old behaviors when under stress or pressure.

What is an example of team development in this stage?

This stage aims for members to grow into finding their way to the performing stage by expressing expectations and finding a middle ground. Activities include; brainstorming sessions, meetings, and activities that highlight strengths and weaknesses. A helpful template in this stage is the Idea Management Portal to source ideas and prompt reflection and ideas.

Scenarios:

The group leads meet to discuss how their group members have been struggling with some of their tasks. They decide to have meetings with group members to map out the best schedule that works for most people.

Performing:

Here, the team starts working together as a unit, and the group dynamic works for everyone involved. The team now gets down to doing its job by taking on responsibilities and making decisions that affect its outcomes.

In this stage, teams start focusing on specific projects or tasks that require them to do their jobs well.

What is an example of team development in this stage?

This stage aims for members to focus on specific projects that will help them achieve goals. Activities include; workshops that highlight what's working, what isn't, and what can be better. A workflow like the start, stop, continue workshop allows facilitators to get feedback from interns seamlessly. 

Scenarios: 

The interns are working together on a campaign for a client. And the team leads have delegated tasks based on team members' strengths. The team members also give periodic progress reports on their tasks as they develop. 

Adjourning:

This is the final stage. Here, the team members present their results to stakeholders for review or approval. As the work reduces, managers can take team members off tasks or delegate them to new ones. It's also vital that teams discuss what went well and what could be improved on for projects in the future.

What is an example of team development in this stage?

This stage aims to acknowledge accomplishments while bringing closure to the team's work. Activities include; a vision evaluation board, discussions on lessons learned, and suggestions on how to apply skills.

Scenarios:

Interns prepare reports on their experiences, highlighting the best and worst tasks. The facilitator also reports the general overview of interns' performances, aspects they need to improve, and areas to keep up the good work.

What is the importance of team development?

If you've ever played on a sports team, you know how important it is for everyone to be on the same page — literally and figuratively.This applies to businesses and highlights the need for team development.

A group of people working together can achieve much more than those same people could if they worked separately. The act of team building has many benefits, but its core purpose is to enable individuals to work together to produce something great.

When everyone knows what their role is and how each person contributes to the team, it makes it easier to work interrelatedly and achieve their goals.

Team Development is also important because it helps us understand how teams change over time. It provides a framework for understanding how to support the development of teams, from their initial formation through to maturity.

More notably, here are three benefits of team development in organizations:

Builds Trust: Trust is the foundation of all human relationships, and it matters in every workplace. Through proper team development implementation, team members can build rapport with a foundation of hands-on experience for fostering a collaborative relationship.

Increases Productivity: Success depends on how well you work with the other players. When you create a system that fosters meaningful collaboration and gives everyone room to grow, you get the chance to discover new strengths and interests—and increase productivity.

Improves Communication: One of the biggest benefits of team development is that it helps build strong communication skills within your group. The activities can help improve communication among team members by encouraging them to share ideas and opinions openly, ultimately leading to better work styles.

Team members will learn how to communicate effectively without being too aggressive or passive-aggressive. This leads to less conflict within the team and outside of it (when dealing with customers). It also reduces the amount of time spent explaining concepts or ideas, which frees up time for other tasks.

What is the difference between team building and team development?

'Team-building' and 'Team Development' are often used interchangeably. And while they both involve bringing people together, they are different in their aims, strategies, and outcomes.

Team building is a process that creates an environment in which team members can work together more effectively. Team development aims to help team members grow and develop individually to contribute more to the team. 

Team building activities focus on bringing people with different areas of expertise together and getting them to interact outside their comfort zone. On the other hand, team development looks at ways your company can help teams work more effectively by focusing on goal alignment.

Assembly | How to create a Team Retrospective workflow

Building A Dream Team

Building a team with all its members functioning at their best is no simple feat, but the goal is to provide a process that any team can follow to develop themselves and their team.

Ultimately, helping your team grow and develop will be more of a process than a one-time event.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide
Employee recognition guide