This, the final stage of team development, is sometimes called ‘mourning’. While it was not in Tuckman’s original (1965) proposal, it is widely recognised as being an important stage in the life cycle of a team, as team members anticipate the project coming to an end and the team being disbanded.
Features of this stage
- The team may become even more effective as it makes a concerted effort to complete the task before the final deadline. However, there is a possibility that the team could become less effective as members regret the end of the task and the breaking up of relationships that have formed between the members of the team.
- The task is completed, the project comes to an end and the team disbands.
Advice for a virtual team
- In order to overcome this stage, try to identify some means of moving on, of keeping in touch and of keeping working relationships going, perhaps by something as simple as agreeing to keep in contact by email, or creating an archive as a permanent record of the work the team has done together.