Force field analysis

Force field analysis helps you to identify the factors working for and against a particular option. Once you have an idea for a service or product, you can use this tool to help you consider all the forces from both within and outside your organisation which are likely to have an affect on its success. Forces to consider could range from people, to systems, processes, organisational culture, existing structures, other organisations and wider societal trends.

Your list of factors can be divided into two columns, one for blocking forces, the other for facilitating ones. Once you have identified a list of positive and negative forces, you can rank each according to its influence. You could illustrate the strength of influence of each force by drawing a thick or thin arrow below it.

You can then consider ways to reduce or overcome each potential barrier, and consider options for maximising the favourable factors.

The picture you build up will help you to decide whether or not to proceed with the option.

Benefits

This tool offers a good way to present all the supporting and opposing factors for an idea in a visual summary.

Limitations

Sometimes, forces can both block and facilitate, depending on circumstances.

When to use it

This tool is useful when you need to make decisions about what you will do.

What are your experiences of using this tool? Share your triumphs and tribulations with our network members or write your own tips by commenting on this page.

More information on this tool is provided in our guide Tools for Tomorrow.

Last updated at 17:54 Mon 12/Apr/10.

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How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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