Tuckman said there were 4 stages that a group had to go through before they achieved success. These stages are formation, storming, norming and performing. Forming is the stage where people are unfamiliar and shy with each other. High dependence on leader for guidance and direction. There is little agreement on team aims other than received from leader who is still trying to be identified within the group. Individual roles and responsibilities are unclear and at this time the leader must be prepared to answer lots of questions about the team’s purpose, objectives and external relationships. Processes are often ignored. Storming is when the decisions don’t come easily within group. Team members vie for position as they attempt to establish themselves in relation to other team members and the leader, who might receive challenges from team members. Clarity of purpose increases but plenty of uncertainties persist. Cliques and factions form and there may be power struggles.
The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues. Compromises may be required to enable progress. Norming is when the group begins to make agreements, and consensus largely forms among the team, who respond well to facilitation by leader. Roles and responsibilities are clear and accepted. Big decisions are made by group agreement. Smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within group. Commitment and unity is strong. The team may engage in fun and social activities. The team discusses and develops its processes and working style. There is general respect for the leader and some of leadership is more shared by the team. The final stage is performing.
The team is more strategically aware; the team knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing. The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader. There is a focus on over-achieving goals, and the team makes most of the decisions against criteria agreed with the leader. The team has a high degree of autonomy and disagreements may occur but now they are resolved within the team positively, and necessary changes to processes and structure are made by the team. The team is able to work towards achieving the goal, and also to attend to relationship, style and process issues along the way. Team members look after each other and the team requires delegated tasks and projects from the leader.