Using Bruce Tuckman's Phases of Team Development to Help Your Team Grow and Advance: 2021 Update

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For permission requests, see below.


🔥 Update: This article covers the English version of the Phases of Team Development. If you're looking for the Spanish translation (Fases del Desarrollo del Equipo), it's here.

2021 Update


Teams (agile or otherwise) go through phases of development, and Dr. Bruce Tuckman established a popular and durable framework on the subject. According to Dr. Tuckman, all phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning—are necessary for teams to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results.

Agile project management thought leader, influencer, and author Scott M. Graffius developed a related custom illustration, Phases of Team Development. It highlights the performance level, characteristics, and proven strategies for each of the phases. Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, DevOps Leads, and other professional can apply the information to help handle challenges or issues experienced by teams. By doing so, they’ll advance the teams' happiness and productivity, as well as the teams' (and their own) success. Graffius updates the content periodically.

He released an updated version of the visual on January 4, 2021. This article features the new version of the Phases of Team Development illustration. Read on for details including information on permission requests and downloadable high-resolution versions of the visual.

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Five Phases of Team Development

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1. Forming

Characteristics of Forming include displaying eagerness, socializing, generally polite tone, sticking to safe topics, being unclear about how one fits in, and some anxiety and questioning.

Strategies for this phase include taking the ‘lead,’ being highly visible, facilitating introductions, providing the ‘big picture,’ establishing clear expectations, communicating success criteria, and ensuring that response times are quick.

2. Storming

Traits of Storming include resistance, lack of participation, conflict related to differences of feelings and opinions, competition, high emotions, and starting to move towards group norms.

Strategies for this phase include requesting and encouraging feedback, identifying issues and facilitating their resolution, normalizing matters, and building trust by honoring commitments.


3. Norming

Features of Norming include an improved sense of purpose and understanding of goals, higher confidence, improved commitment, team members are engaged and supportive, relief—lowered anxiety, and starting to develop cohesion.

Strategies for this phase include recognizing individual and team efforts, proving opportunities for learning and feedback, and monitoring the ‘energy’ of the team.


4. Performing

Characteristics of Performing include higher motivation, elevated trust and empathy, individuals typically deferring to the team's needs, effective production, consistent performance, and demonstrations of interdependence and self-management (also referred to as self-organization).

Strategies for this phase include ‘guiding from the side’ (minimal intervention), celebrating successes, and encouraging collective decision-making and problem-solving.

5. Adjourning

Typical traits of Adjourning (also referred to as Transitioning or Mourning) include a shift to process orientation, sadness, recognition of team and individual efforts, and disbanding.

Strategies for this phase include recognizing change, providing an opportunity for summative team evaluations (which may go by
lessons learned, post-project review, retrospective, or another label), providing an opportunity for individual acknowledgments, and celebrating the team's accomplishments—which may involve a party and possibly an after-party.

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The 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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Downloadable High-Resolution Versions of 'Phases of Team Development' Illustration

For permission requests, contact the email address noted in the image.

High resolution versions of the updated Phases of Team Development image are available at the following links:
here for the JPG file and here for the PNG file.

Citation: Graffius, Scott M. (2021). Phases of Team Development. Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.13140/RG.2.2.22040.42246. DOI link: https://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.22040.42246.

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Bibliography

Select list of publications

  • Alford, J. (2019, April 11). Our Co-Production Journey: From Sandpits to Bird Boxes. London, United Kingdom: Imperial College London.
  • Bennett, M., Gadlin, H., & Marchand, C. (2018). Collaboration Team Science: Field Guide. Rockville, MD: National Institutes of Health.
  • Couture, N. (2016, October 27). A Note About Teams. CIO. Boston, MA: International Data Group (IDG).
  • Daly, L. (2002). Identify Your Project Management Team’s Level of Development and Facilitate It to Success. Paper presented at Project Management Institute Annual Seminars and Symposium, San Antonio, TX. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
  • Deloitte (2017). Digital Era Technology Operating Models, Volume 2. New York, NY: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.
  • Finkelstein, S. (2017, October 29). Why Companies Should Hire Teams, Not Individuals. The Wall Street Journal. New York, NY: The Wall Street Journal.
  • Forbes (2018, April 23). How to Fast-Track Any Team to Success. Forbes. New York, NY: Forbes.
  • Forbes (2012, October 27). How the iPad Mini is Defining Tim Cook’s Apple. Forbes. New York, NY: Forbes.
  • Glover, P. (2012, March 13). Team Conflict: Why It’s a Good Thing. Fast Company. New York, NY: Mansueto Ventures.
  • Graffius, Scott M. (2021). Phases of Team Development. Los Angeles, CA: Scott M. Graffius. Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.13140/RG.2.2.22040.42246. 
  • Jovanovic, M., Mesquida, A., Radaković, N., & Mas, A. (2016). Agile Retrospective Games for Different Team Development Phases. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 22: 1489-1508.
  • Kane, G. C. (2014, October 7). Why Your Company is Probably Measuring Social Media Wrong. MIT Sloan Management Review. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan Management Review.
  • KPMG (2017). The Digital Fund, Season 2. Amstelveen, Netherlands: KPMG International.
  • Madden, D. (2019, May 19). The Four Stages of Building a Great Team – and the One Where Things Usually Go Wrong. Inc. Magazine. New York, NY: Inc. Magazine.
  • Makar, A. (2011, July 13). Lessons Learned in Norming and Performing Team Development Phases. Louisville, KY: TechRepublic.
  • Martinuzzi, B. (2012, June 8). Six Tips Guaranteed to Reduce Workplace Frustrations. New York, NY: American Express Company.
  • Microsoft (2019, June 15). Is the Latest Technology the Key to Your Team’s Success, or is There Something Else? Microsoft Developer Support. Accessed at: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/premier-developer/is-the-latest-technology-the-key-to-your-teams-success-or-is-there-something-else. Redmond, WA: Microsoft.
  • Mocko, G., & Linnerud, B. (2016). Measuring the Effects of Goal Alignment on Innovative Engineering Design Projects. International Journal of Engineering Education, 32: 55-63.
  • Romanelli, M. (2019, September 11). Teamwork Accelerated. PM Times. Newmarket, Ontario, Canada: Macgregor Communications.
  • Riggs, A. (2020, October 15). Why I Start All My Video Meetings with Collaborative Games (Spoiler: It’s Not Boredom). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: The Next Web (TNW).
  • Rowley, D., & Lange, M. (2007). Forming to Performing: The Evolution of an Agile Team. IEEE Computer Society Proceedings. Agile 2007, 1: 408-414.
  • Scrum Alliance (2020). Learning Objectives Examples. Denver, CO: Scrum Alliance.
  • Sakpal, M. (2020, March 3. Learn How to Debunk These Five Restructuring Myths. Stamford, CT: Gartner, Inc.
  • Stern, S. (2018, September 26). Is Your Team Working the Rory Underwood Way? Financial Times. London, United Kingdom: The Financial Times, a Nikkei Company.
  • Telford, R. (2013, June 4). This is Where It Gets Interesting. Armonk, NY: International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation.
  • Tuckman, B. W. (1965). Developmental Sequence in Small Groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63: 384-399.
  • Tuckman, B. W., & Jensen, M. A. C. (1977). Stages of Small-Group Development Revisited. Group and Organizational Studies, 2 (4): 419-427.
  • United States Army (2015). Innovative Learning: A Key to National Security. Washington, DC: Uni
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About Scott M. Graffius



Scot founder, CEO, and principal consultant at Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ and subsidiary Exceptional Agility™, based in Los Angeles, California. His expertise spans project, program, portfolio, and PMO leadership inclusive of agile, traditional, and hybrid approaches. Content from his books, workshops, speaking engagements, and more have been featured and used by businesses, governments, and universities including Gartner, Microsoft, Deloitte, Oracle, Cisco, Ford, Qantas, Atlassian, Bayer, the National Academy of Sciences, the United States Department of Energy, the United States Army, Project Management Institute, the IEEE, the New Zealand Ministry of Education, Tufts University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Warsaw University of Technology, University of Waterloo, Loughborough University London, and others. Graffius has spoken at 58 conferences and other events around the world, including Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Thinkers360 named Graffius a global top thought leader and influencer in four domains: Agile, Change Management, Digital Transformation, and GovTech.

His full bio is available at
https://www.scottgraffius.com.

Connect with Scott on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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The short URL for this article is: bit.ly/teams-21




© Copyright 2021 Scott M. Graffius. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius.





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Publication of Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute Features Content from Scott M. Graffius



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A publication of the Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute (APH) features content from Scott M. Graffius. The
APH Quality Handbook includes Graffius's copyrighted (used with permission) illustration, Phases of Team Development. The visual conveys strategies and more which can be readily applied to help teams (research and otherwise) go farther, faster.

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About Scott M. Graffius


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Scott M. Graffius, PMP, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, SFE, LSSGB, ITIL | High resolution photo available here



Scott M. Graffius, PMP, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, SFE, ITIL, LSSGB is an agile project management practitioner, consultant, award-winning author, and international speaker. He has generated over one billion dollars of business value in aggregate for the organizations he has served. Graffius is the founder, CEO, and principal consultant at Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ and subsidiary Exceptional Agility™, based in Los Angeles, California. His expertise spans project, program, portfolio, and PMO leadership inclusive of agile, traditional, and hybrid approaches. Content from his books, workshops, speaking engagements, and more have been featured and used by businesses, governments, and universities including Gartner, Microsoft, Deloitte, Oracle, Cisco, Ford, Qantas, Atlassian, Bayer, the National Academy of Sciences, the United States Department of Energy, the United States Army, Project Management Institute, the IEEE, the New Zealand Ministry of Education, Tufts University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Warsaw University of Technology, University of Waterloo, Loughborough University London, and others. Graffius has spoken at 58 conferences and other events around the world, including Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Thinkers360 named Graffius a global top thought leader and influencer in four domains: Agile, Change Management, Digital Transformation, and GovTech.

His full bio is available at
https://www.scottgraffius.com.

Connect with Scott on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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About Scott M. Graffius’s Phases of Team Development Illustration

Teams go through phases of development, and Bruce Wayne Tuckman established a popular framework on the subject. According to Tuckman, all five phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning—are necessary for teams to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. Scott M. Graffius developed a related custom illustration, Phases of Team Development, which he revises periodically. He released an updated version of the visual on January 4, 2021. It's shown below.

scott-m-graffius---phases-of-team-development-2021-update---lr-for-blog-squashed-2
Citation: Graffius, Scott M. (2021). Phases of Team Development. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.22040.42246.

For downloadable high-resolution versions of the visual and information on permission requests, see “Using Bruce Tuckman's Phases of Team Development to Help Your Team Grow and Advance: 2021 Update.” It's located at https://www.scottgraffius.com/blog/files/team-21.html.

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About the Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute


The Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute’s (APH for short) mission is “Health for all, powered by science.”

The APH’s strategic plan exudes its credo to continuously produce knowledge in line with societal challenges, healthcare transformations and shifting expectations of civilians, and to effectively harness this knowledge for the public health practice and elsewhere.

The APH considers strong ties between research, practice, and education as crucial conditions for an effective translation of public health research to the society. With its partners inside and outside of the academic world the APH stimulates state-of-the-art research that contributes to the ever-growing health potential of individuals and communities across the life course. This is embedded within its mission: Health for all, powered by science.

To tackle complex public health challenges, the APH concentrates its research efforts in eight research programs with over 1,700 multidisciplinary researchers from Amsterdam University Medical Centers (Amsterdam UMC), VU Amsterdam (also known as The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), and the University of Amsterdam. By teaming up with other researchers, citizen communities, health care providers, educators, and policy-makers, the APH’s focus for the coming years will be on implementation and dissemination of knowledge in and outside Amsterdam.

For more on the APH, visit its website at
https://www.amsterdamumc.org/research/institutes/amsterdam-public-health.htm.

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About the APH Quality Handbook

The Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute’s
APH Quality Handbook, a vibrant source of information for researchers, was introduced in 2003. The body of work was subsequently expanded and updated to incorporate new values, principles, norms, and practices. Under the guidance of the APH Scientific Quality Committee and its project leader, Seta Jahfari, and with the help of volunteers, content was recently revamped. The updated version of the handbook was released on June 10, 2021. It’s available online at https://aph-qualityhandbook.org.




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The short URL link for this article is:
bit.ly/aph-qh.

A related post on LinkedIn is at:
bit.ly/wow-7.

© Copyright 2021 Scott M. Graffius. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius.




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Scott M. Graffius Delivering a Talk at DevOps Experience 2021 Conference



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🔥 Update: The DevOps Experience 2021 conference recorded sessions and made the videos available. The video for Scott's session is included at the end of this post.

Scott M. Graffius will be speaking at the DevOps Experience 2021 Conference. Now in its 4th year, the conference will explore the role DevOps will play in the "roaring 2020s". This year, speakers and attendees will interact virtually. Scott will present “The Journey to Happier and More Productive DevOps Teams.” His session will air at:

  • Pacific Time: 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on 28 October
  • Eastern Time: 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. on 28 October
  • Central European Time: 8:45 to 9:30 p.m. on 28 October
  • Australian Eastern Time: 5:45 to 6:30 a.m. on 29 October

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Attendees may be eligible to receivntinuing education unit (CEU) credit, equivalent to 0.75 Professional Development Hour (PDH). For reporting with the Project Management Institute (PMI), it's 0.75 Professional Development Unit (PDU), under the Leadership category. For reporting with the Scrum Alliance, it's 0.75 Scrum Educational Unit (SEU), under either the Learning category or the Events category. For reporting with other organizations, refer to their respective instructions.

To learn more and to secure tickets for the conference, visit
https://www.techstrongevents.com/devopsexperience.

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About Scott M. Graffius


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Scott M. Graffius, PMP, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, SFE, LSSGB, ITIL | High resolution photo available here



Scott M. Graffius, PMP, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, SFE, ITIL, LSSGB is an agile project management practitioner, consultant, award-winning author, and international speaker. He has generated over one billion dollars of business value in aggregate for the organizations he has served. Graffius is the founder, CEO, and principal consultant at Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ and subsidiary Exceptional Agility™, based in Los Angeles, California. His expertise spans project, program, portfolio, and PMO leadership inclusive of agile, traditional, and hybrid approaches. Content from his books, workshops, speaking engagements, and more have been featured and used by businesses, governments, and universities including Gartner, Microsoft, Deloitte, Oracle, Cisco, Ford, Qantas, Atlassian, Bayer, the National Academy of Sciences, the United States Department of Energy, the United States Army, Project Management Institute, the IEEE, the New Zealand Ministry of Education, Tufts University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Warsaw University of Technology, University of Waterloo, Loughborough University London, and others. Graffius has spoken at 58 conferences and other events around the world, including Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Thinkers360 named Graffius a global top thought leader and influencer in four domains: Agile, Change Management, Digital Transformation, and GovTech.

His full bio is available at
https://www.scottgraffius.com.

Connect with Scott on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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About the DevOps Experience Conference

The following includes content from the conference website:

As we stand poised to move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, we are on the edge of what could be a giant leap forward. The world has come to see and recognize the power of digital transformation. Digital transformation is driven by software, and software is accelerated by DevOps. Cloud native computing has served as a catalyst to the DevOps, software, and digital transformation cycle. Now after perhaps 4-7 years worth of digital transformation progress compressed into the last 18 months concurrent with the pandemic, and with favorable capital markets and business outlook on the horizon, we are poised for a generational leap forward.

As we look forward to all of the great things this transformation enables, we also have to be ready to tackle tough problems like cybersecurity threats, future pandemics, and more. DevOps can be a powerful force for change in all of this. In its 4th year, this year's DevOps Experience will explore how DevOps will be a major factor in the "roaring 2020s."


To learn more about the DevOps Experience 2021 Conference, visit https://www.techstrongevents.com/devopsexperience.

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Update on October 28, 2021


If you missed the event, recordings of sessions are now available. Scott's talk is at https://player.vimeo.com/video/637145697 and the video is also shown below.



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The short link for this blog post is:
https://bit.ly/doe-21
The short link for a related post on LinkedIn is:
https://bit.ly/in-doe



© Copyright 2021 Scott M. Graffius. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius.



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