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Tuckman focused upon the way teams tackle tasks. From the perspective of a new team, working from initial formation of a team through task completion. The final phase Adjourning and Transforming was added to cover evaluation and review of task. In many ways Tuckman's model remains relevant particularly to emerging project teams working in


Phase 1: Forming

Teams are assembled and tasks agreed. Team members naturally behave independently with goodwill towards each other with little or no real trust. Time is spent and spent planning, collecting information and bonding.


Phase 2: Storming

Teams start addressing tasks. Different approaches cause ideas to compete.  Personalities challenge process, practice and professionalism with destructive effect upon relationships. Team are made or broken in this phase. In extremes team behaviours become stuck. If a team is weak at this point its likely to be less effective

Strong facilitative leadership at this phase is important.


Phase 3: Norming

Teams move towards harmonious working practice with clarity of purpose, rules, values by which the team operates. Teams show trust in themselves and the team recognising vital contributions of members. Leaders step back empowering individual members and focus on avoiding complacency and leveraging creativity.


Phase 4: Performing

Few teams reach the performing phase, performing teams achieve consistently high levels of performance, Members operate with considerable if independence, show high motivation, knowledge and competence levels in their work. Problem solving and decision making is collaborative, dissent is both expected and encouraged despite which high levels of respect is demonstrated between team members.


Phase 5: Adjourning & Transforming

Some call this phase mourning or when more constructive, celebrating.


Team's return to different phases within the model if they experience changes, reviews of goals, restructuring of team members.


As a team process model this is still very relevant. Process understanding helps with many team activities but must be appropriate to the team structure. Again team performance is also influenced team social interaction, political and cultural factors.