As Agile software professionals, we’re all focused on making our teams the most vibrant, productive work environments they can be.
But now here is the tricky thing, we need to realise that we are now just built a new teams operational method, and there is a need for team building period.
Teams go through stages of development, and Bruce Tuckman established a popular framework on the subject. According to Tuckman, all phases—Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning—are necessary for the team to grow, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results.
Most organization were just focused (for now) on the Forming stage, thats include technical aspects such as remote access to the organisations resources, and establishing new communications paths between the teams members.
The Storming phase is an unpleasant phase, which we would like to limit and pass to the next phase (Norming) as soon as possible,
While in the Storming Phase it is observed that team members start to disagree about different aspects because they do not wish to proceed as the others want them to. These conflicts between members will derive on the rising of the most appropriate team leader although at first it might not be accepted by all members. During this stage, groups use to be especially susceptible.
Some teams find it extremely difficult to leave this stage because members do not try their best to solve their discrepancies.
The next phase is the Norming Phase, During this stage, members become closer as they feel their friendship starts to grow. Group members come to a common understanding on which are the goals to achieve and how they should behave towards the rest of the group.
So, how could we pass through the Storming phase to the Norming Phase.
Members begin to solve their differences and set more flexible rules. Members will begin to feel more confident and will be able to express their own ideas more openly. Moreover, they will realize that it is important to have different opinions in order to obtain richer results. As everyone experiences acceptance of other group members, members start to feel welcomed in the team.
Members work hard to create a peaceful group. This is possible if they realize that having more useful communication is essential. In this stage, members are ready to make suggestions or ask the rest to explain the aspect they have not understood.
The team becomes more productive in this stage because they start to concentrate on the goals. Members agree on the plan to follow to reach their objectives.