storming-norming-performing-forming

Storming, Norming, Performing, Forming

Tuckman suggested groups transition through five stages of development, starting from the time the group first meets until project completion. As members of the team become familiar with each other, the team itself becomes more mature as relationships become established. These stages are broken down into forming, storming, morning, performing, and adjusting.

Tuckman Model Example

Now, let’s take a look at a hypothetical Tuckman model example of a marketing department tasked with launching a new pet food product.

Approximately 70% of the team is comprised of members of the organization developing the campaign, while the remaining spots are filled by freelancers who are hired to fill specific roles.

Since the creative team and the team of freelancers are unknown to each other, the company will focus on facilitating collaboration between both cohorts.

With this preamble in mind, let’s take a brief look at how the process may play out according to the five stages of Tuckman’s model.

Stage 1 – Forming

To acquaint members of the team with each other, the company organizes several icebreaker activities that can be held over Zoom or in person:

Introductions

The process starts by assembling individuals into pairs where each shares their name, role, and two fun facts about themselves.

Each then introduces the other to the team.

Client trivia

In this example, the client (pet food company) is new to the company providing the marketing services.

To ensure there is adequate knowledge of the client across every member of the team, it is split into two groups.

The first group has 30 minutes to research the pet food product while the second has the same amount of time to research the company.

Both teams then have an additional hour to collaborate and develop a 15-minute presentation on their findings, after which the floor is opened up to further discussion.

Pet pictures

For forming that occurs virtually, the team is asked to change their profile picture to a favorite pet.

Any loss of productivity is countered by the bonding experience that occurs when people discuss their mutual love of pets.

Stage 2 – Storming

Most of the activities in this phase relate to conflict and tension resolution.

One of the best ways to diffuse tension is to have team members work face-to-face.

When individuals can read the body language of others, they tend to be more empathic and motivated to find solutions.

It is also important that the employees compliment the freelancers where appropriate without overdoing it.

The latter group is likely to be more self-conscious about their work – especially since they are in the minority.

Stage 3 – Norming

The norming phase should be allowed to develop naturally as cohesion starts to develop between team members.

In this example, one of the freelancers has a tendency to act out and cause the team to revert to the storming phase.

To strengthen team cohesion and boost morale, the facilitator decides to host a virtual happy-hour event each Friday evening.

Stage 4 – Performing

To sustain the momentum built until now, the facilitator organizes the following activities:

Future visualization

Where team members use Canva to create a virtual board of where they would like to be in the future.

Constructive feedback

Where the team assembles to clarify what it is doing well, what it is doing poorly, and where it can improve.

Brainstorming

reverse-brainstorming

To get the pet food marketing campaign over the finish line, the team engages in a rapid brainstorming session where ideas are fired off no matter how silly they may seem.

Some of these ideas can be incorporated into future campaigns of a similar niche, type, or industry.

Stage 5 – Adjourning 

In the adjourning phase, the facilitator acknowledges the efforts of the team and, in the process, brings about closure.

The freelancers in the team will move on and look for their next assignment, while internal employees will also move on to other projects.

Before this occurs, however, the team is assembled one final time and individuals are encouraged to share their experiences of working on the project.

It’s important that the team does not gloss over any of the problems encountered or lessons learned.

This is because the solutions and insights are valuable to subsequent teams who may find themselves in similar predicaments.

What are the 5 stages of team development?

What is an example of norming?

In the morning stage, team members start to notice and appreciate the unique strengths of their colleagues. There is also a realization that various opinions and experiences ultimately strengthen the team. Take the case of freelancers who tend to act out and cause the team to revert to the storming phase. To strengthen team cohesion and boost morale, the facilitator hosts a virtual happy-hour event each Friday evening.

What is an example of storming?

In the storming stage, the realities of completing the task are beginning to sink in. Excitement is replaced with frustration and anger, which causes some personalities to clash. Most of the activities in this phase relate to conflict and tension resolution. One of the best ways to diffuse tension is to have team members work face-to-face.

Read Next: Tuckman Model

Connected Group Decision-Making Frameworks

Six Thinking Hats

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The Six Thinking Hats model was created by psychologist Edward de Bono in 1986, who noted that personality type was a key driver of how people approached problem-solving. For example, optimists view situations differently from pessimists. Analytical individuals may generate ideas that a more emotional person would not, and vice versa.

Value Stream Mapping

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Value stream mapping uses flowcharts to analyze and then improve on the delivery of products and services. Value stream mapping (VSM) is based on the concept of value streams – which are a series of sequential steps that explain how a product or service is delivered to consumers.

Affinity Grouping

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Affinity grouping is a collaborative prioritization process where group participants brainstorm ideas and opportunities according to their similarities. Affinity grouping is a broad and versatile process based on simple but highly effective ideas. It helps teams generate and then organize teams according to their similarity or likeness.

FIshbone Diagram

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The Fishbone Diagram is a diagram-based technique used in brainstorming to identify potential causes for a problem, thus it is a visual representation of cause and effect. The problem or effect serves as the head of the fish. Possible causes of the problem are listed on the individual “bones” of the fish. This encourages problem-solving teams to consider a wide range of alternatives.

SCAMPER Method

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Eighteen years later, it was adapted by psychologist Bob Eberle in his book SCAMPER: Games for Imagination Development. The SCAMPER method was first described by advertising executive Alex Osborne in 1953. The SCAMPER method is a form of creative thinking or problem solving based on evaluating ideas or groups of ideas.

MECE Framework

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The MECE framework is an exhaustive expression of information that must account for all conceivable scenarios. While the framework is used in categorizing information and data processing, it is commonly used in formulating problems and then solving them. The MECE framework is a means of the exhaustive grouping of information into categories that are both mutually exclusive (ME) and collectively exhaustive (CE).

Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model

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The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model was created by David Nadler and Michael Tushman at Columbia University. The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model is a diagnostic tool that identifies problem areas within a company. In the context of business, congruence occurs when the goals of different people or interest groups coincide.

Lewin’s Change Management

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Lewin’s change management model helps businesses manage the uncertainty and resistance associated with change. Kurt Lewin, one of the first academics to focus his research on group dynamics, developed a three-stage model. He proposed that the behavior of individuals happened as a function of group behavior.

Nominal Group Technique

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The nominal group technique was initially conceived by Andrew H. Van de Ven and Andrew L. Delbecq in their 1975 book Group techniques for program planning: A guide to nominal group and Delphi processes. The nominal group technique (NGT) is a brainstorming framework that encourages equal contribution from stakeholders and facilitates group consensus on key issues, problems, and their solutions.

Tuckman’s Model of Group Development

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Tuckman suggested groups transition through five stages of development, starting from the time the group first meets until project completion. As members of the team become familiar with each other, the team itself becomes more mature as relationships become established. During the developmental phase, the leader of the group also adopts a new leadership style. Tuckman’s stages of group development were developed by psychologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965. Tuckman’s stages of group development is a concise and elegant framework for team development and behavior.

Schein’s Model of Organization

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Schein’s model of organizational culture was developed in 1980 by Edgar Schein, then Sloan Professor Emeritus at the Sloan School of Management at MIT.  Schein’s model of organizational culture is a framework explaining the impact of company culture on an organization with a focus on learning and group dynamics.

ERG Theory

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The ERG theory was developed by American psychologist Clayton Alderfer between 1961 and 1978.  The ERG theory is a motivational model based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The ERG theory is based on an acronym of three groups of core needs: existence, relatedness, growth.

Mendelow Stakeholder Matrix

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The Mendelow stakeholder matrix is a framework used to analyze stakeholder attitudes and expectations and their potential impact on business decisions.

Functional Leadership Model

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The functional leadership model concentrates on how leadership occurs as opposed to who does the leading.  The functional leadership model argues that leadership does not rest with any one individual. Instead, it is based on a set of behaviors collectively embodied by the group that assists in task completion.

Groupthink

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Groupthink occurs when well-intentioned individuals make non-optimal or irrational decisions based on a belief that dissent is impossible or on a motivation to conform. Groupthink occurs when members of a group reach a consensus without critical reasoning or evaluation of the alternatives and their consequences.

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