Force Field Analysis -Identify and Analyzing the Pressures For and Against Change
Force Field Analysis is a useful decision-making technique. It helps make a decision by analyzing the forces for and against a change, and it helps communicate the reasoning behind the decision.
It can be used:
- To decide whether to go ahead with a proposed change;
- To increase chances of success of the change, by strengthening the forces supporting change and weakening those against it.
Force Field Analysis was created by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s. He originally used it in his work as a social psychologist. These days Force Field Analysis is also used in business, for making and communicating decisions.
Specify the issue. Write your plan or proposal for change in a box in the middle of your paper.
List the forces for change in a column on the left-hand side, and the forces against change in a column on the right-hand side.
Then score each factor based on its influence, say, 1 (weak) to 10 (strong) and add up the scores for and against change to find out which of these wins.
Identify as many of the factors that will influence the change as you can. Where appropriate, involve other people, such as team members or experts in your organization
Consider these points:
- What business benefit will the change deliver?
- What are the risks?
- What will be the risks/benefits to clients /suppliers?
- Who supports the change? Who is against it? Why?
- How easy will it be to make the change?
- Do you have enough time and resources to make it work?
- What are the costs involved?
- What other business processes or departments will be affected
- What are the health and safety implications?
Identify the forces which are easiest to shift, and the action required.
Determine how to strengthen the positive forces.
Eliminate or reduce the effect of negative forces.
You can then look at strengthening the forces that support the change and managing the forces against the change, so that it’s more successful.
Although Force Field Analysis helps understand the impact of different factors on your decision or change, it is very subjective, so consider using other decision-making tools as well. Force Field Analysis can involve many factors if your change is complex.