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The Tuckman model and Project Management

This article was been published more than 6months ago. The information contained herein may be outdated.

In Project Management, we talk about the Tuckman model, also known as Tuckman’s stages of group development. Though of particular importance in project management, the stages bear some relation to most aspects of working life. I think most of us would benefit from knowing the basics of it, and how it all works. Originally proposed with four stages in 1965, the fifth stage was added in 1977. The stages are, in order:

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

Forming

By forming we mean the stage when the group has just been formed, when roles are being assigned, and the ice broken.

Storming

In the storming stage, different ideas are being considered and lobbied for. These ideas include both the content, or deliverable, of the project, but also the form, or execution, of the work to be performed.

Norming

By the norming stage, we are down to choosing what ideas to implement, and how. Some of the participants will need to back down from their chosen methods and content, while others will emerge “victorious”.

Performing

The performing stage is when the actual work of the project takes place. Depending on the model used, the performing stage will often go through many iterations in which the deliverables are being developed.

Adjourning

Once the project has delivered the product, the team is broken up, and adjourns.

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