Saturday, February 11, 2012

It is finished ~ Jesus Christ

By the time the team is at the adjournment phase, the leader , who has moved into a more coaching role (Abudi 2010), will bring the group together  for a de-briefing.  What worked well?  Were there any problems?  Where was the most difficulty? Is there something we could have done differently?  How satisfied are we with the outcome?  These questions help to bring closure to the project.

Adjournment of any kind can be a happy occasion or it can be bittersweet.   When working in a high functioning group, the members have come to know each other quite well and the process of adjourning may be difficult but they all know it is necessary.

The project is finished.  How, then do we say good-bye to our colleagues?  In the best case scenario, all the individuals will see each other again.  They may still work in the same location; and having that in common will help ease the transition into the phase of not working on the project.  They may meet for lunch or at the local bar after work.  Sometimes the relationships become more social if they enjoy each other’s company and see they have common interests.
I chose my title, not to offend those with beliefs other than mine, but to illustrate how some projects continue and grow long after the initial group has dispersed.  As a Christian, I look at the team Jesus pulled together –forming (Abudi 2010).  They each had skills and talents necessary for the mission.  There were hot heads, analytical types, team members who didn’t like conflict, assertive types and some doubters and they start to get aquainted with each others personalities, opnions and ideas – storming (Abdui 2010).  Once the team was assembled they started working together, they were focused on the goals.  They started making significant progress as they worked together –norming (Abdui 2010). The group has been commissioned to do the will of their leader and do the day to day work.They know each other quite well, have traveled and went through rough times together; they are interdependent- performing (Abudi 2010).  The leader meets with the group in a garden to bring closure to the first part of the project.  He presents His mission to the world and says, "It is finished."  The group meets, the Leader joins them to adjourn and disperse the group to form other teams to further the original mission - adjourn (Abdui 2010).  
The performing group is the hardest to leave.  We have become interdependent and have gotten to know each other very well. We have spent time together focusing and striving for the same goal and we have enjoyed some good times as well as weathered some hard experiences to get to the finishing line.  There's nothing like shared experiences to bring people together.

I lead a staff development team.  Our closing ritual involved putting a string through a paper plate and hanging the plate behind you with the string around your neck.  Each person had to write something positive about a person on their plate and how they helped on the project.  We used the same colored marker and did not sign our names.  When each person turned their plate around, they read the comments aloud.  After the last person read the comments on their plate, I closed the exercise by saying to the group,"  Be proud, this is what people are saying behind your backs".

We've had to move on from several groups as we journey through our Master's program.  I enjoy the Discussion Boards and our Instructors.  We just start to become comfortable with each other and the 8 weeks end, some return, some don't but I learn something from each of my colleagues.  They will be and are missed but we must move on until we can all say at graduation, "It is finished".


Abdui, G. (2010).  The five stages of team development:  A case study  Retrieved from

John 19:30. King James Version (KJV)[Quote by Jesus Christ] Holy Bible


  1. Well put Stephanie. I gain so much knowledge from your weekly blogs. You put so much thought into what you say each week. You explain so well how a team works and I loved the bibical twist you added that was very creative. When this journey is over I hope that we have formed a friendship that will carry on long after the master's program has ended.

  2. What a great post. I really liked the plate idea as a way to give feedback to others. You have given great thought the five stages of team development in relation to the work of Jesus and His disciples.