Team Development

Understanding the Stages of Team Formation

Forming a team takes time, and members often go through recognizable stages as they change from being a collection of strangers to a united group with common goals. Bruce Tuckman’s Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing model describes these stages. When you understand it, you can help your new team become effective more quickly.

The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of group development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results. This model has become the basis for subsequent models. The Tuckman Model states that there are four stages of project team development that are inevitable in order for a team to reach a point where they are functioning effectively together and delivering high quality results. The graph below depicts how a team’s effectiveness varies depending on their state.

tuckmanmodel

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Building Square-Shaped Teams With T-Shaped People

T-Shaped People are individuals who are experts or specialists in a core skill but also have a broad range of skills in other areas. A T-Shaped Person combines the broad level of skills and knowledge (the top horizontal part of the T) with specialist skills in a specific functional area (the bottom, vertical part of the T). They are not generalists because they have a specific core area of expertise but are often also referred to as Generalizing Specialists as well as T-Shaped People. A Generalizing Specialist does one kind of job very well and some other jobs adequately.

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Can Scrum Help You?

Organizations that have diligently applied Scrum are experiencing a different reality.

These organizations are repeatedly delighting their customers by giving them what they really want, not just the features they might have specified on the first day when they knew the least about their true needs. They are also seeing an improved return on investment by delivering smaller, more frequent releases. And, by relentlessly exposing organizational dysfunction and waste, these organizations are able to reduce costs.

Scrum’s focus on delivering working, integrated, tested, business-valuable features each iteration leads to results being delivered fast. Scrum is also well suited to help organizations succeed in a complex world where they must quickly adapt based on the interconnected actions of competitors, customers, users, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders. And Scrum provides more joy for all participants. Not only are customers delighted, but also the people doing the work actually enjoy it! They enjoy frequent and meaningful collaboration, leading to improved interpersonal relationships and greater mutual trust among team members.

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