What are The Five Stages of Team Development?

Team development is crucial in ensuring the efficiency and improved productivity of your team. If your team isn’t well developed, you will find your workforce operating far below its full potential. 

The benefits of team development are numerous. As a business owner, the continuous review and development of your team is a prerequisite for success.

It is one thing to know the benefits of team development and identifies it as a necessity. However, knowing how to go about developing your team is even more critical. 

Without proper knowledge of organizing and implementing your team’s development, you might end up wasting your team’s time rather than improving cooperation and attaining synergy.

The first thing to note about team development is that there are stages. Identifying the set your team currently occupies and the next step in your team’s progress would give the process of your team’s development focus and direction.

As an entrepreneur, you are the captain of your team. Therefore, knowing your team’s roadmap and destination is necessary for taking your team to greater heights.

Stages of Team Development

Team development is known as the effective process of learning to work together. According to Bruce Tuckman, an educational psychologist, there are five stages of team development, namely:

What are The Five Stages of Team Development?


Forming is the first stage in team development. Here team members are just getting to know each other—the stage where the team members find out their roles and other team members’ roles. During the stage, the basic structure of your team is developed. 

The stage is a very crucial point in the development of your team. It would be best to orientate your team’s duties and how they fit in with other team members’ responsibilities.

This is also your first time proofing yourself as a competent leader. This stage requires you to convince every team member that you have a plan and their careers are in good hands.

If you are working with an old team, then a structure would have been established. In a situation whereby your team’s structure isn’t optimum for productivity, you might have to go back to this stage and make some necessary reforms.


Storming is the second stage of team development. In this stage, your conflict resolution skills as a leader would be put to the test. This stage is filled with conflict and competition. 

The initial politeness fades, and your team members reveal their real personalities. This stage is quite problematic, and in most cases, production is greatly affected negatively. 

It is your job to ensure that no conflict or clash goes unresolved or unaddressed. Seeds of discord that lead to long term damage in the team are sown at this stage. Failure to address disagreements at this stage would stunt the growth and development of your team. 

Most business owners find it challenging to handle this stage of team development. However, once you cross this stage, your team would develop at a fast pace.


This stage involves your teammates adjusting to their roles. Unity and cohesion begin to emerge as team members find it easy to corporate. They are familiar with their roles as well as the personalities of their team members. 

However, this isn’t a guarantee of peace and progress. The norming stage is a stage of fragile peace and unity. Now and then, little spats might spring up, and old conflicts might reemerge. 

It is important to note that the norming stage is not a guarantee that a team cannot fall back to the storming stage. The norming stage marks the beginning of synergy. However, this fragile stage must be protected and guided with care and intention.


At this stage, you have finally developed your team into the dream team. Production is at its peak, and cooperation is smooth and seamless. Few issues might arise, but at this stage, your team has developed simple conflict resolution strategies.

All efforts of your team members are geared towards the success of the firm. Productivity and efficiency are rarely affected by distractions and conflict.


This isn’t a stage in the normal sense of the word. We can tag the adjourning stage as the review stage. There should be a scheduled meeting in which the progress of the team is reviewed. 

This usually entails acknowledging the team’s progress and awarding praises to team members who performed exceptionally well. This is also the perfect time to discuss ways to move the team forward and new strategies for further development. 

The Adjourning stage is necessary to keep your team performing at optimum. Neglecting this stage could lead to your team slipping back into a state of chaos and storm.


Team development is a continuous process that requires constant and intentional effort. Properly developing your team ensures that your team members work at optimum capacity while enjoying happiness and fulfillment in their careers. 

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