Tuckman: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing Model

  1. Introduction

Forming, Storming, Norming, performing model was first developed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. It is one of the most common team development theories and had formed many ideas since its conception.

Tuckman’s theory focuses on the way how a team tackles a task from an initial stage to throughout to the completion of the project. Tuckman’s theory mainly focuses on Team Building Challenges. One of the most useful concepts of team building activities is that the team has an opportunity to observe their behaviour within a measurable time frame.  Tuckman said that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for a team to grow, face up to challenges, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results.

  1. Stages in Tuckman Theory

 2.1. Forming:

During the Forming stage, team members are usually very excited to be part of the team and eager about the work ahead. Members often have high positive expectations and attitudes for the team experience. At the same time, they may also feel some anxiety, wondering how they will fit into the team and if their performance will measure up or not. Forming stage has a lot of questions from team members as they are excited to work with the new team.

The forming stage is to create a team with goal directions and roles to work upon so that members can start building their trust. The energy level is very high in this stage and a good leader can help the members to work accordingly and focus on the goals.

2.2. Storming:

In the second stage as the team begins to move towards its goals member found that they are unable to get their goal due to this they are very frustrated and disappointed by the team’s performance due to these conflicts arises. There is a slight change in the behaviour as compared to stage one. During the Storming stage, team members may argue or become critical of the team’s original mission or goals. Members show their concerns as they are not able to meet their goals.

Now the team needs to refocus on their goals has to keep all the conflicts, disappointments aside and start all over again. The team may need to develop both task-related skills and group process and conflict management skills.

2.3. Norming:

In the third stage, the members start to resolve their issues as soon as they resolve and start again with the same excitement, they will see the team performing again and trying to reach their goal. Behaviours during the Norming stage may include members making a conscious effort to resolve problems and achieve group harmony. Communication is more fluent and meaningful teams may begin to develop their own language (nicknames) or inside jokes. Now they will enjoy working with each other.

Now 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.

2.4. Performing:

In the fourth stage, members now start feeling satisfaction in their work as well as with teams’ performance. Now they are well aware of their strength and weaknesses, and they distribute work accordingly. As now they help each other Members feel confident in their individual abilities and those of their teammates. Roles on the team may have become more fluid, with members taking on various roles and responsibilities as needed. Differences among members are appreciated and used to enhance the team’s performance.

Team members should continue to deepen their knowledge and skills, including working to continuously improve team development. Accomplishments in team processes or progress are measured and celebrated.

Is the “Performing” stage the end of the process?

Working with a high-performing team is a truly pleasurable and growth experience. This is not the end of the process the team should still work and focus on new upcoming goals Changes, such as members coming or going or large-scale changes in the external environment, can lead a team to cycle back to an earlier stage. But if the changes are recognized and addressed directly, teams may successfully remain in the Performing stage indefinitely.

2.5. Adjourning:

Some teams do come to an end, when their work is completed or when the organization’s needs change. While not part of Tuckman’s original model, it is important for any team to pay attention to the end or termination process. Members may feel sad or have a sense of loss about the changes coming to their team relationships. And at the same time, the team will feel a sense of deep satisfaction at the accomplishments of the team.

During the last, some team members may become less focussed on the team’s tasks and their productivity may drop. Alternatively, some team members may be focused on the task and their task productivity may increase.


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