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Force field analysis

Overview

Force field analysis helps you to decide whether or not to make a particular decision or change by identifying factors (forces) for and against, and the relative importance these factors play in the overall decision.

Also known as

The tool

The diagram consists of a central rectangle with the proposed decision in the centre and at each side are forces either for or against indicated by arrows.

Why use it

  • Identify the pressures for and against making a decision or change.
  • Help weigh up decisions.
  • Identify areas where support for a decision or change needs to be strengthened and where opposition needs to be weakened.
  • Help communicate reasons for making a decision.

When to use it

How to use it

  1. List all factors for and against the decision / change you are interested in.
  2. Score each factor based on its influence / importance.
  3. Add up all the individual scores to give overall scores for and against making the change or decision to see which comes out on top.
  4. As an optional and additional next step, the output of the analysis can be used as a starting point for planning how and where to strengthen support for change and for planning ways of managing resistance.

 

Useful prompts when identifying forces to include in the analysis are:

  • What will the business benefits of the proposed change be?
  • What are the disbenefits of the change?
  • Who supports the change, and why?
  • Who opposes the change, and why?
  • Time pressures and constraints.
  • Resource issues.
  • Costs.
  • Are there any likely to be any impacts on other business processes?
  • Risks.
  • Reputational issues.

Strengths

  • Force Field Analysis can be helpful in communicating the reasons for making a particular decision.

Weaknesses

  • Be careful when carrying out the analysis as scoring may be subjective and not an accurate reflection of actual forces and pressures.

Similar to

Use in conjunction with

Complemented by

Example(s)

Additional information