Exploring lean team development from the Tuckman’s model perspective

Araz Zirar, Noor Muhammad, Arvind Upadhyay, Anil Kumar, Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study explores lean teams through the developmental stages of the Tuckman model. Twenty-seven interviewees commented on the teamwork of a lean programme deployed in their organisations. The results reveal that forming lean teams involves excitement, anticipation, and a desire for acceptance. However, frustration, competition, and a need for individual recognition follow in the storming phase. Training programmes that foster cooperation, compromise, and unity sometimes inadvertently create a 'them vs. us' divide in an organisation’s workforce in the norming phase. Additionally, work commitments hinder the development of shared mental models among team members. Lean teams achieve synergy, support, and goal focus in the performing phase, delivering six functions. However, challenges like prioritisation disagreements due to project overload still exist. The adjourning phase evokes mixed emotions: satisfaction with transitioning to a permanent team and sadness when the team disbands. The findings extend the Tuckman model to explain a lean team development lifecycle.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Early online date31 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2023

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