In looking at team development, it is critical that a program manager first understand some basics about teams. Every team, no matter the circumstances around the program, organization, past experience, or the environment, will go through a very tangible set of steps. THese steps are more based on who we are as people than on the objectives of the program or the organizational environment. THe five stages of team development best describe the process of bringing people together into a cohesive whole and can be recognized for what they are by a successful program manager. THere is no defined set of time in which a team will progress from one stage to another, but the program manager can definitely help the team in the progression. Some teams never reach the highest levels, producing at less than effective performance levels; whereas others quickly move through the stages, optimizing performance and communication to such

a point that it is a sad and lonely time when the team completes its work and moves on to other tasks.