Force Field Analysis

Force Field Analysis

A Force Field Analysis is a decision making technique that can be used to analyze the pros and cons of any decision. It looks at the forces that are either driving or blocking movement toward a goal. Better decisions are made by weighing up the pros and cons then determining the force that will win. This technique is widely used in the fields of organizational change and development, business process management, and social and cultural sciences.

Force Field Analysis is often used when decision making isn’t going well. It can be used by leaders and change agents to analyze the pros and cons of any organizational decision. An example could be deciding whether to move ahead with a change proposal or not, or deciding whether to employ an internal or an external consultant. By analyzing both the helping and the hindering forces, decision makers can make more intelligent business decisions in a team-oriented manner. This technique can also be used to explain the reasons behind the taken decision.

How to Construct a Force Field Diagram:

  • Gather the team and describe the decision that needs to be made.
  • Write the decision in a box at the top middle of a paper or white board.
  • Draw a line from the box down the middle of the paper.
  • List all possible helping forces left to the line.
  • List all possible hindering forces right to the line.
  • Allocate a numerical score to each force indicating its significance (e.g. from 1 to 5).
  • Add up the scores of both lists to find out which force wins.

Questions to Help Identify the Forces Involved:

  • What are the benefits?
  • What are the costs?
  • What is the best or worst thing that could happen?
  • How easy or difficult will it be to implement?
  • How long it will take?
  • What must we do to make it work?
  • How could it fail?
  • What would happen if the decision was not made?

Example:

The following is an example of a force field diagram that was created to decide whether to implement a content management system in a company or not.