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Project Management Leadership: Building Creative Teams, 2nd Edition by Rory Burke, Steve Barron

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Chapter 15

Team Development Phases

Learning Outcomes
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
  • Understand how team development can be subdivided into a number of phases.
  • Understand how the changes in the development phases can be quantified by looking at the individual’s attitude, the team’s attitude and the project manager’s leadership.
  • Understand how the team’s performance changes as the team progresses through the development phases.

Team development is a dynamic process where the relationships between the team members pass through a number of phases as they get to know each other. It is important for project managers, as team leaders, to be aware of these development phases so they can guide the team members through the stages. This will increase their effectiveness and protect them from interpersonal conflict which always threatens to implode a team.

Most of us have watched one of those reality television programs where a number of ‘ordinary people’ come together to compete in some way, usually in an alien environment. Whether it is Survivor, Big Brother, Iron Age Man or The Apprentice, the typical format is to bring a number of individuals together who have never met before and present them with a number of demanding tasks, and at the end of each program the ‘weakest link’ is voted off.

If you had been looking at the bigger picture you might have noticed a common thread running through all these programs; as the team members get to know each other and interact, ...

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