Checklist: Performing Teams Part One

Last September we posted some information about the Team Success Survey which can be accessed via a link on the right side of the screen. This post and the next will discuss how the results of the survey can help a team identify roadblocks to its development and how to correct them.

The stages that a team moves through are not arbitrary. In fact, in the 1960’s the process of team development was identified by a gentleman named B. W. Tuckman. Tuckman identified the four stages as: The Forming Stage, The Storming Stage, The Norming Stage and the Performing Stage.

Moving From Stage to Stage

There is no predetermined time line for moving from stage to stage. Some teams may devote more time to becoming acquainted with each other in the Forming Stage. Others may Form quickly but become bogged down in the Storming Stage as cliques develop, members are not accountable, etc.

For any team, it is helpful to have an objective, or at least less-subjective, method for determining in which stage members perceive themselves. One such checklist is a Team Success Survey we adapted for use with both virtual and face-to-face teams.

The survey has 32 multiple-choice questions. Respondents are asked to select one of  five responses ranging from “Almost Never” to “Almost Always.” For example, question number three states:

Our team members feel that we are all in it together and we share responsibility for the team’s success or failure.

Question number 17 states:

We fully accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

The 32 responses can be grouped into four sets of eight to align with the four stages of team development. Eight of the questions relate to the Forming stage, eight to the Storming stage, etc.  The stage with the highest score shows where the team believes itself to be. As an aside, the cover page does ask for a participant’s contact information, but the Summary Report generated from all the completed surveys is anonymous.

The next post will include excerpts from a sample report and how the information can help guide a team through Tuckman’s four stages.

You can access the survey here. The survey is free. Note that contact information is required only so we can contact participants with the results. The information is never shared.

Comments welcome.

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About Bob McCarthy

Originally from the Northeast, I now call Southwest Florida home. I have been a professional copywriter and editor since 1979, both freelance and in house. I have had article published in regional, national and international magazines. Plus, a video for which I wrote the script won an industry award as Best Training Video.
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