Forcefield analysis

This method is an effective tool for making decisions and planning change.

< 24 pers.

45 - 90 min.

Flipchart paper and markers and/or Post-It notes and pens

Outline

In each situation that we want to change there are factors that support and that hinder our intention. Analysing these factors helps to identify the most important obstacles and resources for introducing the envisaged changes.

A forcefield analysis consists of five steps:

  1. Identifying supporting and hindering forces: Just listing all positive and negative factors that come to ones mind.
  2. Considering how influential these forces are, e.g. by grading each identified factor on a scale from 1 - 10.
  3. Selecting the most relevant forces: Usually 3 - 5 supportive and hindering factors are a manageable number.
  4. Identifying polarising forces (forces that are interdependent: if I change a supportive force, it will have a direct impact on the hindering force, and vice versa).
  5. Developing a plan of action. It is important to include actions that further strengthen and put to use the identified supportive factors, as well as actions that decrease the impact of the negative forces.

Variations

When planning change or development the steps it is useful to slightly adjust the steps:

  1. Set goals.
  2. Identify, how far one has already come towards reaching the goal.
  3. Identify forces that hinder or support reaching the goal.
  4. Follow the process as outlined above.