Forming the Foundation: Understanding the FSNP Phases of Team Development

When assembling a new team, expect to go through Tuckman’s FSNP phases.

They are Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.

The FSNP phases are a well-established model for understanding the different stages of a newly formed team. For a manager, it is paramount to understand these stages and accept that although the order and length of the stages may vary, they will all happen at some point.


The Forming stage is the first stage of a new team’s development. At this stage, the team is getting to know each other and forming relationships. The focus at this stage will be on finding out what each individual’s strengths and weaknesses are and how the team can work together effectively. It’s also vital to set team goals during this time.


The Storming stage is the second stage of the FSNP model. During this stage, the team starts to build trust and understanding with each other, as well as define roles and responsibilities within the team. This can also be a difficult stage, as it is common for team members to experience conflict and disagreements. Team members need to recognize that conflict is inevitable, and they work together to find solutions. Sometimes, when conflicts are insanable, it may be necessary to rework the forming phase and reassemble the team. Toxic behaviors must be eradicated as soon as possible to enable access to the following phases.


The Norming stage is the third stage of the FSNP model. At this stage, the team has established trust and understanding and is beginning to work together as a cohesive unit. During this stage, team members will develop more complex and productive working relationships. Team members need to communicate openly and respectfully during this stage.


The Performing stage is the fourth and final stage of the FSNP model. At this stage, the team is well-established and is working together effectively. Team members understand their roles and responsibilities and have a good working relationship with each other. This is when the team produces the best results and achieves its goals.

Wrapping up

All new teams will go through the FSNP phases as they develop. It is essential to recognize that these phases are necessary and take time, and not rush through them.

By taking the time to build trust and understanding between team members and to set clear goals, teams have the best chance of reaching the Performing stage and achieving their objectives.





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