Using Bruce Tuckman's Phases of Team Development

1 - forming - SG - v171118 LOWERRES

Teams go through stages of development, and Bruce Tuckman established a popular framework on the subject. According to Tuckman, all phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning—are necessary for the team to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. This article provides a brief overview of the model, including descriptions and strategies for each phase.

1. Forming

Characteristics of Forming include questioning, socializing, displaying eagerness, focusing on group identity and purpose, and sticking to safe topics. Strategies for this phase include taking the 'lead,' providing clear expectations and consistent instructions, and quick response times.

2. Storming

Traits of Storming include resistance, lack of participation, conflict, competition, high emotions, and moving towards group norms. Strategies for this stage include normalizing matters and encouraging leadership.

3. Norming

Features of Norming include reconciliation, relief, lowered anxiety, members are engaged and supportive, and developing cohesion. Strategies for this phase include recognizing individual and group efforts, providing learning opportunities and feedback, and monitoring the 'energy' of the group.

4. Performing

Characteristics of Performing include demonstrations of interdependence, healthy system, ability to effectively produce as a team, and balance of task and process orientation. Strategies for this stage include celebrating, 'guide from the side' (minimal intervention), encouraging group decision-making and problem-solving, and providing opportunities to share learning across teams.

5. Adjourning

Traits of Adjourning include a shift to process orientation, sadness, and recognition of team and individual efforts. Strategies for this phase include recognizing change, providing an opportunity for summative team evaluations, and providing an opportunity for acknowledgments.

The accompanying illustration summarizes the above information—and it shows how performance fluctuates as teams move through each phase. This information may be helpful for looking at your team.

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Top 5 Project Management and Planning Apps for iOS


There are many outstanding project management and planning tools. The ability of access, contribute to, and manage data while away from the desk is important. This article focuses on related products for iOS—iPhone and iPad.

The selection criteria started with associated solutions available on Apple's App Store (over 100 items). The group was then filtered for those—as of the time of this report—with 20 or more reviews and also an average rating of 4 or better out of 5 stars. That resulted in the top five tools. In alphabetical order, they are: Caato Time Tracker+, Things 3, Todoist, Trello, and Wunderlist: To-Do List and Tasks. Each solution is highlighted next.

Caato Time Tracker+
• Price: $0 (offers in-app purchases)
• Number of reviews: 30
• Average rating (out of a maximum of 5 stars): 4.2
• Short description: Powerful features include folders, notes, search, Excel export and more. Yet, it's extremely simple to use.

Things 3
• Price: $49.99
• Number of reviews: 84
• Average rating (out of a maximum of 5 stars): 4.6
• Short description: Things is the award-winning personal task manager that helps you achieve your goals.

• Price: $0 (offers in-app purchases)
• Number of reviews: 34
• Average rating (out of a maximum of 5 stars): 4.0
• Short description: With Todoist you’ll enjoy one-click access to everything on your to do list–today, tomorrow, and as far into the future as you need.

• Price: $0 (for a basic account)
• Number of reviews: 193
• Average rating (out of a maximum of 5 stars): 4.2
• Short description: Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.

Wunderlist: To-Do List and Tasks
• Price: $0 (offers in-app purchases)
• Number of reviews: 1,245
• Average rating (out of a maximum of 5 stars): 4.9
• Short description: Wunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done. Whether you’re planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist is here to help you tick off all your personal and professional to-dos.

This has been a quick review of tools for iOS. A future article will cover products for other platforms.

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5 Things You Need to Know About Leading Successful Large-Scale IT Modernization Projects


As business needs change and technologies advance, organizations often take on modernizing their IT systems. Some elect to do complete switchovers to new systems, but such "big bang" implementations may result in more challenges than taking a more measured and incremental approach.

This webinar from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) covers topics to consider in executing large-scale modernization efforts. It includes: know where you want to be, know where you are, know what you need, know how to move forward, and iteratively move forward. The total run time for the video is one hour.

Since 1984, the SEI has been helping government and industry organizations to acquire, develop, operate, and sustain software systems that are innovative, affordable, enduring, and trustworthy. It serves the United States as a Federally Funded Research and Development Center and is based at Carnegie Mellon University, a global research university rated among the best for its programs in computer science and engineering.

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Top 3 TED Talks for Project Managers


Here are three must-watch TED talks for those involved in project management:

creating harmony -
TED Talk by Itay Talgum
"Lead Like the Great Conductors"

reducing complexities -
TED Talk by Yves Morieux
"As Work Gets More Complex, Six Rules to Simplify"

On sustaining a healthy team -
TED Talk by Dan Pink
"The Puzzle of Motivation"

If you enjoyed these talks, you’ll find 2,500+ more at TED.

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10 Key Changes to Government Project Management from the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act (PMIAA)


If you are involved or interested in government project or program management activities, here's an overview of the
Program Management Improvement Accountability Act (PMIAA) which was passed into law by the US Federal Government in 2016. There are 10 key points.

This law established requirements for the Office of Management and Budget to:

1. Adopt and oversee implementation of government-wide standards, policies, and guidelines for project and program management; 
2. Chair the Program Management Policy Council;
3. Establish standards and policies for executive agencies consistent with widely accepted standards for project and program management planning and delivery; 
4. Engage with the private sector to identify best practices in project and program management that would improve federal project and program management; 
5. Conduct portfolio reviews to address programs identified as high risk;
6. Conduct portfolio reviews of agency programs at least annually to assess the quality and effectiveness of program management; and 
7. Establish a five-year strategic plan for project and program management.

The law specifies that the Office of Personnel Management must issue regulations that:

8. Identify key skills and competencies needed for an agency program and project manager;
9. Establish a new job series or update and improve an existing job series for program and project management; and
10. Establish a new career path for program and project managers.

Additionally, within three years of enactment, the General Accounting Office must issue a report examining the effectiveness of the following on improving federal project and program management: the standards, policies, and guidelines for project and program management; the strategic plan; Program Management Improvement Officers; and the Program Management Policy Council.

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List of 13 Most Valuable IT Credentials Include Three Related to Project Management


In IT, there's no substitute for experience. However, certifications remain a valuable tool for advancing one's career. reports that 13 IT certifications emerged as the most valuable, and three of them are related to project management. Here's the list:

1. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
2. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
3. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
4. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
5. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
6. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
7. Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)
8. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Cloud Platform and Infrastructure sub-category
9. VCP6 – DCV
10. AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional
11. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
12. Project Management Professional (PMP)
13. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

If you're interested in learning about the project management related certifications (CAPM, PMP and CSM), links follow. For information on the CAPM and PMP, visit the
Project Management Institute. For information on the CSM, visit the Scrum Alliance.

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How to Prioritize and Align Projects to Best Achieve the Organization’s Strategic Objectives — in an Infographic from Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™


Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ relates how to prioritize and align projects to best achieve the organization’s strategic objectives. The content is in the form of an infographic, available on the company site
here. This infographic—and more—is also shared on tweets from @Exceptional_LLC.

Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ is a consultancy specialized in delivering business results through project, program, portfolio, and PMO management inclusive of agile, traditional, and hybrid frameworks. We help organizations achieve more consistent realization of business results, faster time-to-market/delivery speed, upgraded on-time delivery, improved on-budget delivery, better management of risks, improved customer and stakeholder satisfaction, and greater competitive advantage. For more on the company, please visit

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