Using Bruce Tuckman's Phases of Team Development

Phases of Team Development

Teams go through stages of development, and Bruce Tuckman established a popular framework on the subject. According to Tuckman, all phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning—are necessary for the team to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. This article provides a brief overview of the model, including descriptions and strategies for each phase.

1. Forming

Characteristics of Forming include questioning, socializing, displaying eagerness, focusing on group identity and purpose, and sticking to safe topics. Strategies for this phase include taking the 'lead,' providing clear expectations and consistent instructions, and quick response times.

2. Storming

Traits of Storming include resistance, lack of participation, conflict, competition, high emotions, and moving towards group norms. Strategies for this stage include normalizing matters and encouraging leadership.

3. Norming

Features of Norming include reconciliation, relief, lowered anxiety, members are engaged and supportive, and developing cohesion. Strategies for this phase include recognizing individual and group efforts, providing learning opportunities and feedback, and monitoring the 'energy' of the group.

4. Performing

Characteristics of Performing include demonstrations of interdependence, healthy system, ability to effectively produce as a team, and balance of task and process orientation. Strategies for this stage include celebrating, 'guide from the side' (minimal intervention), encouraging group decision-making and problem-solving, and providing opportunities to share learning across teams.

5. Adjourning

Traits of Adjourning include a shift to process orientation, sadness, and recognition of team and individual efforts. Strategies for this phase include recognizing change, providing an opportunity for summative team evaluations, and providing an opportunity for acknowledgments.

The illustration summarizes the above information—and it shows how performance fluctuates as teams move through each phase. This information may be helpful for looking at your team.

High resolution versions of the Phases of Team Development image are available here (.jpg file) and here (.png file). Permission requests: contact the email address noted in the image.


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2018 Year in Review

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I’ve compiled a review of 2018. This post highlights my consulting business, book, speaking appearances, and blog.



Organizations need to realize their strategic objectives and business initiatives. My professional services firm, Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, helps our clients achieve those needs through advisory, training, and facilitative consulting services related to project, program, portfolio, and PMO management. Our expertise spans agile, traditional waterfall, and hybrid development and delivery frameworks. To learn more about the company, please visit

A book and speaking appearances—extensions of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™—are highlighted individually below.



Inspired by a fantastic agile transformation experience and result with a client in the entertainment industry, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions was published in 2016. It helps technical and non-technical teams develop and deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage. Between the date of publication and 2017, it garnered 15 first place awards from national and international competitions. The credit is shared with Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, the technical editors on the book.

Attention and interest continued in 2018. Accolades included two additional first place awards (making the updated total 17), being featured as a success story by the BEA, and more. And
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions and I were featured in Yahoo Finance, Innovation Management, Informa Middle East, and additional media publications.

To make the book available to more sellers and customers, I transitioned it to Expanded Distribution in 2018. With the change, both the print and ebook formats of
Agile Scrum were still available at Amazon, just not exclusively. Expanded Distribution provided access to a larger audience through more online retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, and distributors. Agile Scrum became available through the following channels (in addition to Amazon):

  • Bookstores and Online Retailers - available to online and offline retailers such as Barnes & Noble and to distributors such as Ingram and the National Association of College Stores, Inc. (NACSCORP).
  • Libraries and Academic Institutions - offered through Baker & Taylor to libraries and academic institutions.
  • CreateSpace Direct - available to certified resellers through the CreateSpace Direct wholesale website.

Agile Scrum is still offered in print and digital formats at Amazon. The paperback is available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The ebook is for sale in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

A trailer, high-resolution images, reviews, a detailed list of awards, and more on
Agile Scrum are available in the digital media kit at

Speaking Appearances


I've been fortunate to have spoken to diverse audiences on project, program, portfolio, and PMO management related topics of timely importance. I delivered five talks at conferences and other events in 2018:
  • Techstars conference
  • California Central Coast chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • California Inland Empire chapter of the PMI
  • An event in Las Vegas
  • California Central Valley chapter of the PMI

Upcoming appearances in 2019 include the Project World conference in Canada, another talk at a PMI chapter, and more—to be announced. You can read more about my speaking engagements at



My blog at provides news, tips, and more on the intersection of project management with business and technology. In 2018, I published 48 new articles on the site. That’s down from last year, when I produced 65. However, traffic has been steadily growing per data from Google Analytics. In 2018, the blog had 109,771 page views, compared with 57,139 the prior year. That’s an increase of 92%!

There was a mix of different categories of topics. The top 10 articles in 2018 were:

The majority of visitors (53%) came from the United States. Rounding out the top 10 were France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Philippines, Brazil, India, Australia, and Sweden. While not in the top 10 for the year, there was a significant increase in traffic (primarily in late 2018) from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Japan.

Thank you for visiting the blog!


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