Many teams evolve as they progress through a project. Here’s a review of Tuckman’s theory of the Stages of Team Growth.

Stages of Team Growth Videos

Love this illustration of the concept via movie excerpts! Plus my friend’s dad was on this team (reality was a much different story, but still a good flick!)

Team Formation

-Teams are formed to pursue some goal. (Ex. to improve the internal efficiency of an organization)

Build, Develop and optimize.


Forming, storming, norming, and performing.

Building Phase / Forming

  • Leader provides direction and the group is not certain of their roles and responsibilities.
  • The leader does not usually delegate responsibilities.
  • Team does not have the skills and experience to complete tasks or accurately prioritize them.
  • Individuals become members of a group, are anxious about their roles and responsibilities, and are hesitant to participate in discussions.
  • Team may ask the following questions during this phase:
    • Why am I on this team, and how will I fit in?
    • How will I benefit from working on this team?
    • Are the team’s goals the same as mine?


  • The most difficult phase to work through.
  • Marked by conflict within the group as team members push boundaries and challenge authority in attempt to clarify the team’s goals, values, and norms.
  • The team may feel overwhelmed at the amount of work ahead of them.
  • Team members may find that their initial expectations of the team are far different than the realities of trying to accomplish something together.
  • Team members resist seeking out the opinions of others.
  • Team improvement skills have not been developed.
  • Team interpersonal skills are still being developed.

Norming Phase

  • Team members learn to cooperate and support one another while establishing patterns of communication and behavior.
  • Finds members being more tolerant of each other and accepting of the diverse perspectives and personalities that each member brings to the group.

Performing Phase

  • This is the most advanced stage. Here, a team is fully mature.
  • The team functions at its highest level of productivity and the focus of each member shifts from individual to group concerns.
  • The team leader provides the least amount of control.
  • The team has demonstrated the ability to effectively make accurate decisions.
  • Most likely to have a recap meeting in this phase.
  • Team members may be asking the following questions:
    • What is the ideal way for our group to function most effectively?
    • How can we best measure progress towards our goals?

Transforming Phase

  • Somewhat optional in several Six Sigma BOK’s
    • The group is preparing to disband or is facing major changes in its mission, membership, or environment. Members often regress to unproductive team behaviors

Question: “Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing” are terms that describe(Taken from ASQ sample Black Belt exam.)

(A) process variation reduction and improvement phases
(B) root cause identification and corrective action
(C) stages of team growth
(D) steps of the brainstorming process

This section requires you to be logged in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.