Five Stages of Group Development

build teams that deliver exceptional results

Effective teams don’t just happen - they result from a well-defined, systematic development process.

Teams become high performing when the members have worked through their individual differences and have agreed on standard values that inform behaviours.

Teams go through five stages of development. The most commonly used framework for a team's stages of development was developed in the mid-1960s by Bruce W. Tuckman. His descriptions of Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning provide a useful framework for looking at your own team.

The five stages detail a framework for recognizing a team's behavioural patterns and form the basis for effective developmental team conversations that result in strong relationships and high performance.

Best for

  • Leaders at all levels

  • Team members


In person or virtual


3 hours

Class size

Facilitator to participant ratio 1:16

A commitment to reflection and ongoing evaluation create high-performing teams that deliver to their best potential.

Bruce Tuckman, an educational psychologist developed his group development model to explain how healthy teams cohere over time. This process of learning to work together effectively is known as team development. He identified a five-stage development process that teams follow to become high performing: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Each of the five stages of team development represents a step on the team-building development ladder. As the group members climb the ladder, they evolve from an assembly of individuals into a high-performing team with a common goal and focus to achieves exceptional results.

For teams to be effective, the people in the team must be able to work together to contribute collectively to team outcomes. But this does not happen automatically, it develops as the team works together. Team effectiveness is further enhanced by a team's commitment to reflection and on-going evaluation.

Participants in the 5 Stages of Group Development program learn:
  • That guiding principles emerge through the interactions of team members during the development process. Teams set guiding principles to guide the activities of the team and to set a standard for behaviour, attitude, and performance that all members are expected to follow.

  • That initially, during the forming and storming stages, guiding principles focus on expectations for attendance and commitment.

  • That during the norming and performing stages, guiding principles focus on relationships and levels of performance.

  • That performance guiding principles are very important because they define the level of work effort and standards that determine the success of the team.

  • That leaders play an important part in establishing productive guiding principles by acting as role models and by rewarding desired behaviours.

Why choose our 4 Stages of Group Development program?

When your team initially gets together, you represent individuals assigned to work together. Through our program, you begin to operate as a team instead of a collection of individuals. Over time you get to know each other, what to expect from each other, how to divide and assign tasks, and how you will coordinate your work.

Each stage of team development has its own recognizable feelings and behaviours. understanding why things are happening in certain ways on your team can be an important part of the self-evaluation process.

Team members of highly cohesive teams value their membership, are committed to team activities, and gain satisfaction from team success.

What is included

Program facilitation

Participant workbooks and toolkit

Possibilities of group coaching beyond the program delivery is also available.

Piqued your interest?