Friday, September 21, 2018

Know your Team Stage!

Expecting to have new team that able to perform well, self-organized and deliver something fast is almost impossible, because it needs process and time.

Based on Bruce Tuckman's article in 1965, he said that there's 4 team development phases which is Forming - Storming - Norming - Performing. He described these phases are necessary team to follow before reach the high performance team.
  • Forming
    • In this stage, team is just newly introduced. Most of the team will be in positive and polite behavior or maybe some still confuse or nervous, they are more focus on their individual. Because the focus is more on the people, there might be situation where process is still not clear and role is still not established. 
    • What we can do: set the ground rule and expectation, communicate the project goal and target timeline, know more on the individual information (e.g. skill, interest, background) and assign the role.
  • Storming
    • Second stage is when team member start to voice out their opinion and show the differences on working style. Conflict is commonly happened here, and frustration might come out due to disagreement or unresolved problems. Some team member might challenge or question on the leader's authority.
    • What we can do: observe the team condition and listen more especially if there's some complaint from team members, emphasize to team that conflict is normal and grow tolerance & patience within them, recognize conflict that arise and resolve the problem as a team.
  • Norming
    • The stage when the team can overcome the differences, start to notice and appreciate other team member's strength, and respect leader's authority. The intimacy and social activity is raising and they able to share the same goal. We can start to see good progress from the team.
    • What we can do: for the sake of the harmony, team might avoid conflict or share controversial ideas. Leader need to make sure that team feel safe to share any feedback to each others and the creativity is exist to avoid boredom. 
  • Performing
    • By this time, team are knowledgeable with the work and others, motivated, confident to have their own decision-making and self-organized. We can expect to have full-speed and more deliverable from team.
    • What we can do: start to delegate some work, up-skill the team by providing some training.
In 1977, Tuckman together with Mary Ann Jensen added the fifth stage called as Adjourning. It's the time when team already complete the tasks (e.g. project ends) and the team disbands. It's also referred as Mourning because team feel sad and end the experience with others. 

Why it's important to understand and know about this team stage? As a leader, we can guide team member through each phase process to achieve the project goals better.

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