A group is not at its most effective immediately at the beginning; instead, cooperation evolves gradually through certain stages. The development of a group into a team is not straightforward and it does not take place at a certain rate; every group is an individual. Not every group will achieve the stage of efficient activity while working together. The stages can overlap and they may be difficult to distinguish from each other. Nevertheless, knowing how the team has evolved helps one to anticipate events and to confront team changes.
Forming stage: People who are strangers to one another seek their own place and role in the team. The group members are often unsure, excited and anxious. The group members lack a picture of the team’s goals, structure and action modes.
Storming stage: Boldness grows and differences in views and conflicts begin to emerge. The team is in a state of fermentation. The group may give rise to sub-groups fighting amongst themselves. This stage can be cleared only through joint efforts and by resolving problems. A cooperative and learning group takes form by dealing with problems.
Norming stage: Norming stage is when the surge of emotions of the previous stage calm down, roles clear up, and rules of cooperation take shape. Commitment and solidarity are reinforced. The use of energy is efficient and results begin to materialise.
Performing stage: This stage represents the actual level of the team. Cooperation within the team is efficient. The members of the team support one another and make use of each member’s strengths for the good of the team. The roles within the team are flexible and promote operation. Doing together, encouraging and endeavouring to increasingly better achievements are expressive of the operation of the team instead of mutual competition.
Disintegration: Once the objectives of the team have been achieved, the team disintegrates.