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GROUP FORMATION THEORY
FORMING STORMING NORMING PERFORMING

Introduction

This group formation theory is the brainchild of Bruce Tuckman. Tuckman suggested that for a group to develop into a successful team, it will need to progress through four stages: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.

 

Forming Norming Storming Group Formation Diagram

Forming

This stage is about the team forming:

  • Team meets for the first time.
  • The team tries to agree goals and objectives.
  • The leader must coach at this time.
  • Leader must try and establish team cohesion.

Storming

  • Team brainstorms their purpose and what tasks needs to be addressed.
  • Team members try to establish their roles within the group.
  • Team members may also develop personal friendship.
  • Leader still coaches at this stage.

 

Norming

  • Reaching this stage may take a while depending on team dynamics and formation.
  • Team members start to work fluently.
  • They start to support each other.
  • They agree on team value and rules and go with team consensus.
  • There is improved motivation and the team may go on social events.

Performing

  • If the team is effective and reach this stage they will get the job done.
  • The task is completed without the guidance of the manager.
  • The team can work independently and efficiently.
  • Any disagreements are resolved within the team.

Conclusion

Forming, norming, storming and performing by Bruce Tuckman is a popular group formation theory. It is particularly useful for managers taking over a new team or for managers keen to overcome poor performance. The first step for team managers is to identify the stage their team is at, so that they can formulate a plan to move the team onto next stage. As a team progresses through each stage the manager's involvement reduces. At the forming stage a team requires lots of direction and instructions from their manager, whilst a performing team will only need management support on the rare occasion.

 

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