Each must understand that although they are unique, all teams normally go through four distinct stages before they are truly performing as a team. The four stages of team development are orientation, dissatisfaction, resolution, and production. Each team must go through all four stages of team development before they reach synergy. There is no short-cut. The duration and intensity of each stage varies with each team. It is important to maintain the focus and a positive attitude throughout all the stages; the team will achieve its mission.
A general description of each of the stages of team development follows.
Stage 1: Orientation. During the first stage, the team is becoming acquainted to each other and teamwork. Members are building rapport, honesty, trust, and open communication. They are trying to determine what it takes to fit in. The team members usually have great enthusiasm for the project. However, they do not know how to work as a team to accomplish it. During this stage, the team is deciding: what they need to accomplish and who needs to accomplish it.
Stage 2: Dissatisfaction. Stage 2 is characterized by being overwhelmed by the information and task. Sometimes power struggles, emotions, and egos become evident. This stage is the most difficult to overcome. Some teams never progress past this stage. If this happens, they should be disbanded. To move forward to the next stage, the team must find some small success as a group. Once the team understands they can perform as a team, the team usually progresses to the next stage.
Stage 3: Resolution. During Stage 3, the team moves toward the mission. In this stage, customer contact and measurements can help the team members to start assisting each other and focus on the mission. This is the first stage where the team is actually working as a team. Here the team knows how to operate as a team.
Stage 4: Production. Finally, in Stage 4 the team becomes effective. The team members work together to achieve the mission.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.