Bruce Tuckman introduced the Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing (FNSP) model in 1965. It is made up for four sequential stages in group development, from the first time the team meet to the completion of the project. In 1977, along with Mary Ann Jensen, he added a fifth stage, Adjourning.
The stages required to achieve team effectiveness are:
- Forming: This is the very first stage where team members first meet each other, and goals and objectives are agreed upon. Because everyone would have just met, it’s not unusual for people to still act independently. As a team leader, focus on giving people work they can do and, at the same time, get to know their colleagues. Tuckman referred to this as the forming stage.
- Storming: The second stage is when people start to open up and trust begins to build. Team members begin to understand each other’s different working styles and figure out how to work as a team. Managing complaints and conflict for the first time also happens in this stage. The group may also start to challenge your leadership so, while you keep them focused on work, you need to assert your leadership and provide support to individual team members.
- Norming: Team members realize the importance of working towards the team’s success and take on responsibility. They start to accept and tolerate everyone’s quirks for the sake of the group. Because people know what their role is now, focus your leadership on creating links between team members and establishing routines and team habits.
- Performing: By this stage, the team has built trust with each other and are motivated to work together to achieve shared goals. The group now feels like a team, with individuals stepping into leadership roles as their capabilities and interests dictate. Your leadership can be very subtle, focused on maintaining the productive environment in which the team can thrive, providing them with the information and resources they need, and protecting the team from disruptive interruptions and distractions.
- Adjourning: Once the project is over, an assessment is performed. Plans are made for changes and individual contributions are acknowledged. As the group separates, there is a palpable sense of loss. The joy of working successfully with valued colleagues is important to us and we mourn its loss. Like in the case of ‘real’ mourning, you should make time for your team to reflect on the transition and celebrate the past.
Best suited for: People who want to understand the various stages that make up team development within group projects.