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The Four Stages of Team Development – Part 3

An example of a team moving through the four stages – Part 3: A Team Working Well Together

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the case study.

Stage 3: Norming and Stage 4: Performing

Let’s skip to about 2 months into the initiative. The Stakeholder Support Committee was doing well working together. They had accomplished quite a bit and were providing some great information on thoughts of the project back to the project team and the sponsor.

While in Stage 3, Norming, I stay involved in each meeting and ensured that the Committee members followed the ground rules and processes and procedures for working together. As time went on, they began to work even better together and, in fact, got to the point of reminding each other of the ground rules. As time went on, they further refined the processes and procedures they had collaborated on to be even more effective working together.

What progress when the team reached Stage 4, Performing! This occurred about 6 months into the initiative. As the leader of the group, I was no longer involved in resolving any disputes that arose or in helping to solve problems. The Committee members were working very effectively together and managing on their own. I simply provided a point of contact between the group and the project team as well as the sponsor. Those individuals who were a bit, shall we say, forceful in the beginning were very collaborative and did a great job sharing their knowledge with others. The group had further defined their roles on the Committee based on their individual strengths and interests.  They were meeting twice a month but regularly sharing and collaborating on the SharePoint site.

The Committee made a number of recommendations for improving the SharePoint site to better collaborate with each other. Additionally, they structured an internal website where they were able to share information about the project across the organization. Their engagement in the project was infectious and in a short time we saw a good number of individuals across the organization who understood the project, why this change was happening and the value of the change to the organization as well as to them.

In summary, as a team leader it is important to remember that every team is going to go through the four stages of team development – it always happens, without fail. Some teams get through the stages a bit quicker to become high performing teams; others take a bit longer. The team leader can assist the team in getting through the earlier stages to become high performing by working with them to ensure they are collaborating and listening to each other.

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