Understanding Team Dynamics

Let’s quickly understand how things usually work in teams: the process of Forming, Storming, and Norming. This isn’t my original idea; it’s based on the stages of team development described by Bruce Tuckman in his 1965 model.

Imagine you start working on a new team/ project with a bunch of folks you are working with (Designers, PMs, Engineers etc.) for the first time. Here’s how things might unfold:

Forming: At first, everyone is getting to know each other. You’re figuring out who’s who, what the project is about, and what everyone’s roles will be. It’s all very polite and reserved as you get a feel for the team dynamics.

Storming: Next, things start to heat up. Different ideas and opinions come to the forefront, and disagreements happen. Maybe two team members have conflicting views on the project direction. It can be a bit chaotic, but it’s a necessary part of finding out how to work together.

Norming: After the storm fades, the team begins to settle into a groove. You establish norms and rules for working together, and everyone starts to feel more comfortable. Trust builds, and collaboration improves. It feels like the team is finally starting to gel together.

—— Tough part ends here and the exciting part starts—–

Performing: Now the magic happens. The team is efficient and effective. Everyone knows their role, communication flows smoothly, and you’re hitting milestones. Challenges are handled with ease because you work well together.

Adjourning (or Mourning): Eventually, the project wraps up. It’s time to move on to new projects or even new teams. There’s a sense of accomplishment, also a bit of sadness as you part ways. You celebrate the success and the journey you shared.

    Just like in any good story, a team goes through these phases. You start off getting to know each other, navigate through some bumps, find your rhythm, achieve great things, and then, eventually, move on to new projects.

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