Strategies and tactics to bring your team to a win – Part 3: Norming, performing, and adjourning

Recently we asked Lisa Pafe, Lohfeld Consulting Group Principal Consultant, to share her thoughts on the five stages of teamwork and how to jump-start team performance…

In previous blog posts, Lisa discussed how to move your proposal team quickly through the forming and storming stages of team behavior. In the norming and performing stages, your proposal team members are more comfortable with their roles and responsibilities. Here are some strategies to move your team through norming and performing into adjourning.

  • Communicate. To ensure high performance, use praise and constructive, actionable criticism as needed. Continue to communicate, ensure clarity, and resolve conflicts. As people take more responsibility, you need not be quite as directive, as long as you are able to review daily agile iterations from team leads.
  • Circumvent. Quite often, a team member or two refuses to norm and perform. You may have to remove them from the team if they are disrupting progress, even after you have spoken with them offline.
  • Coach and clarify. Anticipate regression. Be aware that as team members cycle out (after completing a writing assignment) and cycle in (as reviewers), the team may regress back to storming. You need to apply the same method of working one-on-one with new team members, coaching and clarifying to develop the solution. You also need to gather feedback and lessons learned from exiting team members.

Many teams never arrive at the performing stage. Continue to be fair, decisive, in control, and demanding. Ensure your proposal products are on schedule, compliant, and compelling, and re-direct the team if they are moving off course.

Once you submit the proposal, remember to thank team members for their contributions. Part of your lessons-learned process includes gathering feedback from each contributor as well as assessing each team member’s performance to use in the future when building proposal teams. This assessment also comprises subcontractors and teaming partners. Record lessons learned on how well the techniques described above and the previous posts work. These ideas sound easy, but are often difficult to practice and require repeated proposal efforts to perfect.

Finally, after award, remember to inform all team members of the bid outcome. And, of course, invite the entire capture and proposal team to the win party. Then you can consider the team adjourned!

What strategies do you use to develop high-performing proposal teams and then move them to the adjourned stage? Send an email to me at with your suggestions!