Drexler and Sibbet’s Team Performance Model

Drexler-Sibbet Team Performance Model

  1. Orientation
  2. Trust Building
  3. Goal Definition
  4. Commitment
  5. Planning
  6. Implementation
  7. Reassess and Renew

Most people have some familiarity with Tuckman’s Model – 5 Stages of Team Development. It’s simple and easy to understand, but it may not show the whole story and sometimes it is nice to have a bit of a different perspective on things. This is where the Drexler-Sibbet Model comes in.

The Drexler-Sibbet Model of Team Performance has 7 stages that are divided into two groups. This model was developed by Allan Drexler and David Sibbet in the 1980s (Sibbet, 2017).

Drexler-Sibbet Groups

Creating Stages: Encompasses the initial stages of group development as the group forms and works to become a single cohesive unit. The first four stages are contained within the “Creating Stages” group.

Sustaining Stages: After the group adjusts and becomes established the Sustaining Stages begin. The final three stages are contained within this group.

*Get the book by David Sibbit, a co-creator of this model: Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance (Affiliate Link)

Drexler-Sibbet 7 Stages of Team Development

Drexler-Sibbet Creating Stages of Team Development

1. Orientation

Why am I here? This is where the group learns why they are being brought together. They may wonder why they are there and that question is one that should be answered early in the group’s formation.

2. Trust Building

Who are you? The members of the group may not know everyone and during the Trust Building stage, they should learn who their teammates are. They may not know the experience levels of the other members, the members’ area of expertise, or even their names. The team must get to know each other and learn who they will be working with and build trust among the members of the group.

3. Goal Definition

What are we doing? Within the Goal Definition stage, the group figures out what they are doing and define or learn the roles of the team members. This definition of roles may or may not be formal (and generally shouldn’t be), the team should fall into a pattern of where their skills lie and only be guided by external leadership towards that pattern. Conflict naturally arises as the team figures out their place in the group.

4. Commitment

How will we do it? This defines how the team will work together as a group and how they will proceed to move towards becoming their most productive. Conflict among the team should be reduced.

Books by David Sibbet

David Sibbet Author Page

Drexler-Sibbet Sustaining Stages

5. Planning

Who is going to do what? The team plans the activities and tasks are assigned or volunteered for. Planning begins the transition to completing the required work.

6. Implementation

Is the team performing? Implementation lines up with the Performing stage of the Tuckman Model. This is where the work gets done and ideally, the team is functioning as a cohesive unit.

7. Reassess and Renew

Do we continue? Has the group completed objectives or are the objectives still relevant? The group identifies what it has done and if the team’s purpose is completed. It either plans to complete the remaining work or if no work needs to be done, the group disbands.

The proper transition through creating stages is important and has strong implications for team performance. The teams do not necessarily pass through the above mentioned stages and stay in the stage reached but keep moving back and forth. (Kumar, S., Deshmukh, V., & Adhish, V. S., 2014).


Kumar, S., Deshmukh, V., & Adhish, V. S. (2014). Building and leading teams. Indian journal of community medicine : official publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine39(4), 208–213. doi:10.4103/0970-0218.143020. Retrieved From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215500/

Sibbet, D. (1980). Allan Drexler: In Appreciation. Retrieved From https://davidsibbet.com/2017/11/alan-drexler-in-appreciation/

4 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.