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Group Development Assessment


Category: Assessments
Code: 211

As your groups evolve into teams, it's vital that they periodically assess their current level of group development - and be willing to discuss it openly. The Group Development Assessment (GDA) gives groups a clear, comprehensive picture of how they're functioning - and of what it will take to become a team.

The Group Development Assessment (GDA) measures group development along two dimensions: task behaviours and process behaviours. Groups often get stuck in one dimension as they grow in the other. Truly synergistic teams, however, engage in high levels of task and process behaviours simultaneously. When GDA scores are plotted on a matrix, teams see how close they are to that goal. The intersection of sub-scores also reveals the group's current stage of team development.


The 40 items in the GDA were written to conform to the theoretical model, and they were tested with numerous work groups in a variety of organisational settings. The materials were subsequently applied in training seminars with both managers and human resource development professionals. In addition, cooperating colleagues used and critiqued the components of the system, thereafter providing feedback that was invaluable in refining the item wording, scoring scheme, and interpretive materials. As a consequence of this exchange, the action-planning exercises were developed and the working theory paper was completely revised. This material has been incorporated into the participant booklet.

The intent behind the GDA was to create a system for group self-diagnosis that would be completely understood by group members as well as by leaders. The GDA holds consistent with the authors' belief that instruments of this type should be useful; that is, they must lead to action planning for improvement rather than simply measure something. Accordingly, the system carefully and systematically leads the group from assessment and diagnosis to an examination of the critical question, 'So what?' and 'Now what?' While the GDA was not created for use as a research instrument, it does lend itself to studies for group development. It is a complete system designed to foster the continuous improvement of groups of people who need to work together to accomplish tasks.

Using the Group Development Assessment

There are five suggested uses of the GDA. These applications are by no means intended as an exhaustive inventory of possible uses, and one or more of them may be used in various combinations depending on the needs of the facilitator or the group.

Use the GDA:

• As a diagnostic intervention by a consultant

• To perform diagnosis by the group leaders

• As a team building intervention

• With underdeveloped groups

• As a training model.

FORMAT Assessment
OBJECTIVE To diagnose a group or team's present stage of development
AUDIENCE Groups or teams at all stages of development
AUTHOR John E. Jones, Ph.D. and William L. Bearley, Ed.D.