How teams work
How teams work

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

How teams work

3.1.3 Norming

When teams are over the storming stage they often breathe a collective sigh of relief, since the team has begun the transition from a group of individuals to becoming members of a cohesive team. A team identity has established itself and disagreements between team members are largely settled.

Features of this stage

  • The team should reach agreement upon the process issues that it may have begun debating in the previous phase of team development. Specifically, the team should agree the ways of working and interacting with each other (team rules), and individual team members should agree to the roles that they are going to take on in the team and the tasks that they will perform (team roles).
  • The team also reaches agreement upon the nature of the task and how they are going to tackle it. With their growing sense of identity and purpose, the task ‘belongs’ to the team and is not something that has been imposed upon them. The team often develops its own common language to facilitate communication within the team.
  • There is real progress on the task that the team has been assigned.

Advice for a virtual team

  • A useful team rule to establish is how frequently team members should check the team forum and their personal email for messages. This depends on how much time you are devoting (or expected to devote) to the team tasks. If you are in a work situation and the team’s work is your major task then you might need to check for messages from the team several times a day. If you participate in the team in your spare time then less frequently, perhaps once or twice a week, may be enough.
  • It is also useful to establish when individual team members will be able to contribute to the team – their typical working patterns. This helps other team members to know when and how to contact each other, potentially reducing discord within the team.
  • Check that each member of the team has a common understanding of the team tasks, and that everyone is clear about the team rules and language.
M891_2

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371