Stages of Team Development
New teams go through certain stages, before they can work well together. According to Tuckman, all stages—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning—are necessary for the team to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. The stages are not strictly linear: some teams skip a stage, others oscillate between stages.
Scrum master or Agile leader aim is to help the team members perform well, as quickly as possible. One need to understand these stages well, and ensure team pass through first three stages quickly, to do this, Scrum master or Agile leader need to change the approach at each stage.
The team comes together. Everyone trying to figure out the team’s goal and their role and responsibilities, they demonstrate questioning, socializing, eagerness, focusing on group identity and purpose, and sticking to safe topics. Actions taken to ‘lead,’ providing clear expectations and consistent instructions, and quick response times.
Individual working styles and personalities clash are visible in this stage, which include resistance, lack of participation, conflict, competition, high emotions, and moving towards group norms. Actions to be put in place to normalizing matters and encouraging leadership.
Team members resolve their differences. They grow to respect and appreciate each other and tolerate each other’s whims. They can ask for help and give constructive feedback. They share a common goal and everyone takes responsibility. The team starts to deliver more.
The team hums along. Their processes support them. The team is incredibly productive and great things happen. It’s an awesome time to be part of the team.
The team members know that they are going their separate ways, e.g. because the project is nearing completion or the organization is changing. It’s time to grieve.