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I came across some great posts on Better Projects and Project Shrink regarding working with people on project teams that has made me think of Bruce Tuckman's Group Development Model as I reflect on the dynamics of my current project teams.

Forming - Also known as the honeymoon period. Everybody is really excited about the project and ready to get it under way. The upside is the energy that almost everybody brings to the team. The downside is that almost everybody also has their own idea of how things should go, which leads to the storming phase.

Storming - The inevitable phase where disagreements occur. The blanket enthusiasm from your kick-off meeting and forming phase will fade into oblivion leaving you with some storming... and that's ok. This is the phase that really makes or breaks a good PM because clear direction needs to be set and accountability needs to exist so that the team can enter the norming phase.

Norming -
Occurs when the group members are able to get over their differences and begin to feel like they are part of the larger team... Contributions start to happen openly and abundantly in the norming phase as group leaders don't have to provide as much guidance to the team

Performing - The level that all teams should strive for because performing means your team is a well oiled machine. Decisions are able to be made within the group, almost autonomously, as team members have a total understanding of where the project is headed. One other characteristic is that supervision or higher level authority is not really needed. Definitely the place to be if you're leading a team.

So what phase of the group development process are you in with your teams?

Photo by: stormygirl

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