Force Field Analysis is a tool that can be used when defining a problem, identifying key drivers in a system, or at any point during improvement work to revisit the factors supporting or working against the solution of your problem or issue.
Force Field Analysis:
- Presents the ‘positives’ and ‘negatives’ of a situation so that they are easily compared;
- Encourages honest reflection on the underlying roots of a problem and its solution; and
- Encourages people to agree about the relative priority of these factors when planning work.
Start off by drawing a T on a flipchart, board etc. One side will feature positive drivers, and the other negative drivers.
The group can discuss the relative importance of each driver, and give each one a weighting to indicate their significance. You can illustrate this by adding a number (0 - 5, where 5 is the most significant), changing the length of the arrow (longer arrow is more significant) or the width of the arrow (fatter the arrow, the more significant).
When prioritising an area for change, remember that often it is more effective to remove a barrier than to enhance positive factors. Removing negative factors can break what is called the ‘change bottleneck’ – something that might block sustained change in your system.
Example of a Force Field Analysis.
Issue or Project: Involving patients in QI/Service Development (sample answer)
For your own Force Field Analysis, you can use a flip chart or any piece of paper and pen.