Team Development Stages

Posted on May 13, 2009 by


As a project team matures, they go through certain stages. These Team Development Stages are described under Team-Building Activities, which is a tool of the fourth edition PMBOK®’s Develop Project Team process. According to this theory, there are five stages of team development—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning.

Teams typically begin at the first stage and then progress to later stages. However, teams can stop progressing at a certain stage and never reach the higher stages. Also, an event such as the addition of a team member can cause the team to regress to an earlier stage. In the Forming stage, the team members meet each other and learn about the team’s purpose and goals.

In the Storming stage, team members may struggle for certain roles and responsibilities as well as try to convince others of their perspective on how the work should be performed.

When the Norming stage is reached, team members are working together and an element of trust has been established.

The Performing stage demonstrates a highly effective team whose members are working together smoothly as a unit.

When the work is done and the team is disassembled, it is called Adjourning. Project Managers have an advantage if they are able to quickly move their team into the Performing stage. Also see the earlier posting of Develop Project Team Process (posted May 4, 2009).