The Lifecycle of Teams
Teams are dynamic. People change and team members come and go whether by design or unexpectedly. The focus and purpose of a team can change, particularly when working on projects as they move through phases from design to implementation and operations. Additionally, teams will go through different stages of development, or a lifecycle. Each of these shifts necessitates a mindset and a skill change for the team as a whole and the individuals who compose it.
Perhaps the most popular of team models is Tuckman’s Forming-Storming-Norming and Performing model, and the more recent addition of a fifth stage of Adjourning, Transforming, or Mourning. As a high-level concept, the model is fantastic, but in this post we’ll focus on a more detailed lifecycle that is more appropriate in a workplace increasingly dominated by projects. Read on for a handy infographic that you can use to analyse your team's current needs and what you should be focusing on as a leader.
So which stage of team development are you and your team at? Is that the appropriate stage? How do you resolve that stage and move forward? Remember, not all teams will make it through all stages, some may regress or be disbanded for poor performance. Your challenge as a leader is to assist your team in reaching those stages where they deliver results for the organisation and the member individuals.