February 20, 2023

Tuckman Model: Understand the Stage of Your Team to Improve Results

IT Tips & Insights: Learn about the five stages of a team’s development, and how Tuckman’s insights can help a team work together more effectively.

By Luan Damasio, Scrum Master

The Tuckman Model shows that for teams to develop their maximum potential, it is necessary to think about the importance of the team formation process.

What is the Tuckman Model?

The Tuckman Model was created in 1965 by psychologist Bruce Wayne Tuckman. It is the result of research based on the theory of group dynamics in which he identified the five stages of group development: 

  1. Forming
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing
  5. Adjourning 

To reach its productivity potential, a team needs to go through a training process that may include developing trust, building rapport, defining roles and responsibilities, and aligning expectations.

Why is the Tuckman model important for companies?

Having visibility of this model presented by Tuckman is important to understand that people (and teams) need time to perform as expected. Here are two examples of why it’s important to look at this subject:

  • The cost of turnover in tech: According to this article, in a company of 500 employees, it is possible to save up to $3.9 million a year through employee retention.
  • The cost of bad leadership: If the leadership doesn’t know where the team is, it’s not good news, or maybe it’s a lack of leadership. According to this article, a lack of leadership capability costs U.S. corporations up to $550 billion annually.

Detailing Each Stage of the Tuckman Model

1. Forming

In this first stage, it is common for team employees, especially new ones who have just joined the company, to feel excited and willing to work. Expectations are very high, but at the same time there is also a feeling of anxiety as people want to understand how they can add to the team. This period is also characterized by a high volume of questions. After all, there are many doubts about how the company, or a new project, works.

Examples of what to do:

  • Define the team objective
  • Have a good onboarding process
  • Define sprint deliverables
  • Define roles and responsibilities

2. Storming 

Confrontation of personalities may predominate at this stage. Different members start losing their shyness and begin to express their characteristics and points of view. Storming is not necessarily a bad thing, as disagreements or conflicts within the team can make a team stronger, more versatile, and able to collaborate more effectively.

Only 50% of teams enter this stage, while others go straight to Norming.

Examples of what to do:

  • Understands the importance of diversity in a team and how it makes the team stronger
  • Creates a healthy culture through constructive feedback
  • Gives another tool for the team to provide visible feedback and express their opinions and points of view
  • Guides the team to find individual and team values

3. Norming

At this stage, there is alignment between individual and team expectations. Employees also begin to feel more secure in expressing their opinions and sharing ideas. The fact that people know each other better makes the work environment conducive to improved productivity and collaboration. Teams working with Scrum begin to self-organize, resolve their own conflicts and role responsibilities also become clearer.

Examples of what to do:

  • Build solid documents, aligning collective interests
  • Create a remote first Playbook
  • Create a development and career plan for the area

4. Performing

We can think of this stage as middle adulthood. Over time team coordination increases, reinforcing performance and reducing conflict and waste. We are now in front of a high-performance team, capable of carrying out their tasks with a great degree of autonomy and an excellent level of effectiveness.

Examples of what to do:

  • A good strategy is to delegate tasks and responsibilities to the team, showing trust and respect
  • To do a delegation poker: Agree with the team on how tasks and responsibilities will be delegated
  • Congratulate and recognize everyone’s good job and efforts

5, Adjourning

At this stage, the team members have made the deliverables and know they are going their separate ways because the project is almost done, or the business is changing. This can generate a feeling of sadness at the separation of colleagues.

Examples of what to do:

  • Take a moment to recognize and thank the different team members for what they have done
  • Register the “lessons learned,” which can be very useful for future teams


The reality is that ignoring this concept can cause you to waste resources and frustrate the team. People are not objects, and it’s important to identify gaps and improve opportunities around the entire environment on a continuous basis.


Hi! I’m Luan Damásio, I’m 31 years old and I live in Brazil, in the city of São Paulo. I have a lot of experience with Project Management and Agile. I have a degree in IT Management and a graduate degree in Software Engineering. I have some certifications that help in the understanding and application of solutions in organizations such as: Scrum, KMP, Flight Levels, Management 3.0, Metrics, etc. Right now, I’m learning more about leadership and management. 


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