I went sailing some time ago. For years I used to sail minimum once a year with a group of my friends. But as we got older and built our own lives it became harder to get a group together.So this year I decided to join another crew. Looks like it wasn’t just me thinking that away so we ended up on
So this year I decided to join another crew. It wasn’t just me thinking that away so we ended up on a boat without knowing each other. Group of total strangers that never met each other before. The only thing we knew about each other was that we all sail. But our skills, sailing knowledge, habits and expectations were completely different. We didn’t know what to expect, what position to take and what responsibilities. Every task was a struggle. The first day was too long and tedious.
It took few days for us to form somehow organized crew. As we got to know each other we started to appreciate and understand other participants. We started to trust. But at first it was a total disaster.
It’s similar in whenever the team has to form. Also so it is in software development.
A new team doesn’t perform well when it first comes together. Forming a software team takes time. And there are four noticeable stages of that development process: forming, storming, norming and performing were identified by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. Adjourning, a fifth stage, was added by Tuckman about ten years later.
In the beginning, team members are positive and polite. Some are anxious because they don’t fully understand the project yet. Others are excited about new challenges.
Their roles and responsibilities aren’t clear yet. They start to work together and make an effort to get to know each other.
In the end of the forming stage team already understands the project’s purpose. The team knows its organization, each member’s responsibilities, and general group rules.
During storming phase, people start to push the boundaries established in the forming stage. In that stage conflict and competition are at its greatest. It’s the phase where your working styles and habits clash and questions surrounding leadership, authority, rules, responsibilities, structure and evaluation emerge. all those issues have to be addressed and all the questions have to be answered so the team can move on to the next stage.
In norming phase, people start to resolve their differences. They acknowledge the talents, skills and experience of other team members. They trust each other and are able to ask for help. They provide and welcome constructive feedback. As teammates know one another better they may socialize together. The team is focused on the project’s purpose and the progress is clearly visible.
The performing stage is when the team gel together. There is something truly magical about a gelled team. They can work miracles. They anticipate each other, cover for each other, support each other, and demand the best from each other. They make things happen. That’s why the prefroming stage is marked by high productivity.
It feels easy to be part of the team at this stage, and people who join or leave won’t disrupt performance.
Adjourning involves completing the task and breaking up the team. Many teams will reach this stage when the project ends.
Keep gelled team together
It takes time for a team to work out their differences and come to terms with each other. It might take few weeks. Or a year. But once it happens, it’s so cool. A gelled team will plan together, solve problems together, face issues together, and get things done.
Once this happens, it’s ridiculous to break the team apart because a project comes to an end. It’s best to keep that team together for next project. Because this team will make miracles happen.