A technique which helps us to achieve improvement by considering those
factors or forces that encourage change or those which work against change.
Improvement will happen only if the encouraging factors are strengthened
or the inhibiting factors are weakened.
It should be used whenever a change or improvement is needed. It is
useful write down the factors working for and against change, but even if
you do not have time to do this, stop and think about it. We all want quality
improvement - what is sopping us from achieving it?
It works like this:
- Title the change needed and draw a line down the centre of a page of
- List the encouraging factors on the left and the inhibiting factors
on the right;
- Are there more on one side than the other?
- What are the relative strengths of the factors?
- Can the encouraging factors be strengthened or the inhibiting factors
be reduced or eliminated?
Unless one of those happens, there will be no improvement.
- DRIVING FORCES
- New Challenge
- More money
- Better Job Prospects
- More Training
- Better Working Conditions
- Fringe Benefits
- Nearer Home
- RESTRAINING FORCES
- Longer Hours
- The Unknown
- Lose Current Friends
- Higher Qualifications Needed
- Loss of Pension Rights
The tool is often used with cause and effect analysis to identify potential
solutions to the causes of the effects.
- Difficulties associated with Forcefield Analysis:
- Many organisations often forget what they do well and tend to concentrate
on their shortcomings (failures);
- Failure to identify the key appropriate forces;
- Using it as a blame exercise;
- Manipulating the scoring without referral to facts or evidence;
- Failure to discuss/clarify each force to establish a common understanding.
- How to overcome the difficulties:
- Identify the positive forces before listing the negative ones - look
for the “good”;
- Ensure the most appropriate personnel are involved during the application
of the tool;
- Reinforce opinion with (more) data collection;
- Use the results for action planning.