Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Forming Storming Norming Performing

We kicked off with a team of completely diverse people, starting a project that was going to be the biggest challenge most of us ever faced.

The first months of the project where more difficult than any previous other project I had been working on. Finding out our places in the project, how we would fit to the puzzle, was for everyone one of the biggest challenges. At first conflicts were avoided, and specific tasks were not performed. Later on, some of us got caught up in quarrels and fights and after months of hard work, as a team, we contributed to late and poor quality delivery.

After a couple of months of suffering, we learned on a team building event that this is so very normal. After that we found that by good leadership, team members are being carried trough different phases in a model of a team-building process.
The model I'm talking about is the model of Tuckman and considers the Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing phases in team building.

If you ever get a chance to look at your own team from a distance, you'll definately recognize this model and if you're manager of a leader of a newly created team, you definately need to know these things if you want to improve your team atmosphere and quality of delivery.


The team is assembled. Team members don't know each other well and tend to act independently. There is no real group-feeling.  Conflict is avoided. Team members have a need for guidance.


Team members start to take their positions in the team. This process often leads tentions between team members and contradictive ideas.


Team members are aware of the need of rules and methods. Those rules and methods are defined within the team. The common objectives become clear and the required roles are divided over the team members. The team with all team members take responsibility for the delivery of the objectives.  The risk during the Norming phase is that the team loses either their creative spirit or the drive that brought them to the Norming phase.


The team is working together harmoniously to achieve the common objectives. The team is working independently and makes collaborate decisions. Performing teams are identified by high levels of independence, motivation, knowledge and competence.

Unfortunately, many teams never make it past the Storming phase. However I dear to say that we made it at least to the Norming phase as a team, yet we still have a lot to deliver...

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