In 1965, Bruce Tuckman, an American psychologist, propounded the theory of the Four Stages of Team Development and, in 1977, added a Fifth stage to it. He explained how teams develop organically and become mature and capable through the process of Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. This helps in creating relationships and adjust leadership styles if required.
Bruce Tuckman explained how a leader initially needs to direct the team members constantly and move towards coaching them. Then the leader should include the team and make them participate, eventually moving on to delegating tasks. At this stage, there is very little managing required for the team members.
The primary purpose of this model is to create a team rather than a collection of individuals.
• The team is explained what its goals are, and what are the different roles, responsibilities & processes.
• High dependence on the leader for guidance & direction.
• The leader should be prepared to answer lots of questions about the team's purpose, objectives, and external relationships.
• Members test the tolerance of the system & the leader.
• Decisions don't come easily within a group of different individuals.
• Clarity of purpose increases, but uncertainties persist.
• The team needs to focus on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues.
• Compromises may be required to enable progress.
• The leader coaches.
Norming (forming of the processes & working style)
• Agreement and consensus largely form amongst the team, who respond well to the facilitation by the leader.
• Roles and responsibilities are clear and accepted.
• Big decisions are made by the team, and their agreement, whereas smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within the larger team.
• Commitment and unity are strong.
• The team may engage in social activities together.
• The team has a shared vision & is independent with minimal participation required from the leader.
• The team has a high degree of autonomy.
• Disagreements occur, but now they are resolved within the team positively. The team members look after each other.
• The team requires delegated tasks/projects from the leader.
• The team does not need to be instructed or assisted.