Lasitha Silva’s Web’log

Posts Tagged ‘teams

American psychologist Bruce W. Tuckman developed an influential model of team development, first enunciated in a 1965 article “Developmental sequence in small groups,” published in Psychological Bulletin. Tuckman’s model traced the evolution of a team through four stages: forming, storming, norming and performing. Tuckman argued that these stages were necessary to build an effective team.
Tuckman’s model has remained on target. The four states of team development that he identified are still regarded as the main stages. His emphasis on the dynamics of team progress remains valuable.

The limitation of the model is that it suggests that once the four stages are completed in the initial formation of the team, then a steady-state emerges in which the team simply performs well week after week, month after month, year after year. But many cases show that teams require continual monitoring and intervention by team leaders to keep a performance edge.

Without continual attention from team leaders, teams tend to degenerate into contending cliques in which personal animosities destroy team effectiveness.

In other words, Tuckman’s model describes the early stages of team development – the stages from which a team is launched successfully into its business mission. But there are later stages which are crucial to continuing team effectiveness which Tuckman ignores, and thereby suggests do not exist. But they do exist and they are very important to the continuing success of a team.

The challenge of building and continuing effective teams goes well beyond the development stage.

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August 2020

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