8 Best Team Building Methods Series – Homan and Tuckman Methods

Published Categorized as Project Team
Best Team Building Methods
Best Team Building Methods

This article is the third part of a 4 segments series on best team building methods. If you have found this article through search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) I would recommend you start by reading the head piece of the series – The 8 best team building methods – to get an overall view on the topic and then follow the links to discover the entire series.

Best Team Building Methods: Homans’ Theory Of Group Formation

Use to identify the external factors which can disrupt/destroy your project.

George Homans argues that the interaction between the group and the environment in which it operates shapes both the behavior of the group and the final outcome.


  • Physical restraints that are imposed on the team which affect the performance of the task.
  • Cultural-persona/ beliefs and values that make up the shared understanding of the group.
  • Technological facilities and resources that are available to the team to help them achieve their task.
  • Organization’s policies and procedures that govern working practices and personal development of team members.
  • Socio-economic factors which flow from the impact that the wider political, economic, social and technological developments have on the team.

Homan argues that, influenced by the environment, the group goes through a series of behavioral stages. In the beginning they act in a manner expected by the group leader (required or given behaviors) followed by a stage of doing things over and above what is expected (emergent behaviors) resulting ultimately in increased productivity and personal development.


  • Recognize that you and your team do not operate in isolation. You are both affected by your organization’s culture and wider societal influences.
  • Use SWOT and PEST/PESTLE tools to identify the variables that might impact on your project and in conjunction with the team decide how you will deal with all eventualities identified.
  • Remove any physical restraints imposed on your team as this will affect its performance. If accommodation is cramped, over-crowded and separated geographically from the site of the action your team will naturally assume that the organization thinks that their work is unimportant.
  • Instill in the team a common set of values and beliefs about how the team will operate, deal with the task in hand and recognize what a successful outcome will look like.
  • Train every member of your team to maximize the use of the tools available to them. Too often individuals are unaware of what resources are available or how to fully exploit them.
  • Teams working outside the normal organization structure can be hamstrung by the bureaucracy that governs everyday organizational life. Agree with management to what extent you can opt out of normal controls.


  • Am I too focused on what is going on within the organization?
  • Do I need to discuss the wider implications of the project with someone outside the team?

Best Team Building Methods: Tuckman’s Group Development Sequence Model (Crown As King)

Use this to identify the stages of development that your team pass through and amend your management style accordingly.

Bruce Tuckman first presented his Forming, Storming, Norming, Pefforming (FSNP) model in 1965 and, with Mary Jensen, added a fifth stage (Adjourning) in 1977. The model describes the phases which teams go through from initial formation to completion of the task.

  • Stage 5 Adjourning: Having completed their task the group dissolves. Members will share either a sense of loss or relief, depending on the outcome of the task.
  • Stage 4 Performing: Confidence grows both individually and with other members of the group as they work towards a common goal.
  • Stage 3 Norming: The group find ways of resolving conflict and begin to emerge as a cohesive unit. Criticisms and feedback are given constructively and members start co-operating with one another.
  • Stage 2 Storming: Conflict occurs as personal agendas come to light. Members assert themselves and start questioning decisions and challenging authority.
  • Stage 1 Forming: Members start interacting and try to work out what is expected of them. Excitement and enthusiasm is mixed with fear and uncertainty.


  • Provide guidance from the moment the team starts to form. Make clear the team’s purpose, aims and objectives and what contribution you expect from each person. Negotiate and agree working ground rules and listen to any concerns that members have and address them.
  • During the storming phase be prepared to deal with any challenges to your authority or inter-team squabbles. How you deal with these will set the tone for the behaviors you can expect people to exhibit throughout the operational life of the team. Acting passively or aggressively may not be in the team’s best interest. Go for a win/win solution whenever possible.
  • As the team matures and enters the norming phase your role changes to one of supporter. By this stage the team will have developed its own ways of dealing with conflict and created enough trust between team members to accept constructive criticism without coming to blows. So sit back and let the team resolve its own problems.
  • Once the group start performing as a cohesive team don’t be afraid to adopt a watching brief. Let the team get on with it. If you’ve trained them right they will only approach you if they need help.

Once the task is complete, celebrate the team’s success and acknowledge everyone’s contribution.


  • Do I have the self-discipline to increasingly take a back seat as the team matures?
  • How will I know if I am are stifling the team’s growth? What signs will I look for?

Closing down this article I will provide you with several links in order to explore all the content on best team building methods. If you want to check out the fourth part of the series follow the link : Best Team Building Methods Part 4 or if you want to go to the beginning follow 8 Best Team Building Methods You Should Know.

Hope you enjoyed our content, and see you in the next one.

By Alex Puscasu

I am a Project Management practitioner with more than 5 years experience in hardware and software implementation projects. Also a bit of a geek and a great WordPress enthusiast. I hope you enjoy the content, and I encourage you to share your knowledge with the world.

Exit mobile version