Making tough decisions can be hard. Of course, you want to make the right call, but it’s not always easy to see the path ahead. That’s where force field analysis comes in. This structured decision-making technique can help you weigh the pros and cons of any decision and increase your chances of success. In this article, we’ll explore what force field analysis is, give some examples of how it can be used, and discuss how organizations can use it in their business processes.
What is Force Field Analysis?
Force field analysis is a popular decision-making tool used in various situations. It’s based on the idea that there are two forces at play in any decision: those for and against. This tool determines various factors’ importance, impact, and influence before implementing changes in business processes.
To use force field analysis, you first need to identify the problem or opportunity you’re facing. Once you’ve done that, you can start to map out the forces at play. You’ll list the factors pushing for change on one side of the force field. On the other side, you’ll list the factors that are pushing against change.
Once you’ve mapped out the forces, you can assess their importance, impact, and influence. This will help you identify the most important factors to consider when making your decision.
Advantages of the Force Field Analysis Method
A force field analysis has several key advantages that make it a relevant and viable tool for decision-makers. Here are some of the notable benefits that you can get from this decision-making tool:
Provides a Visual Representation of the Problem
One of the advantages of using force field analysis is that it provides a visual representation of the problem. This can help understand the problem and its different aspects. That way, you can better grasp the situation before making a decision.
Helps You Weigh the Pros and Cons
Another advantage of this tool is that it helps you weigh the pros and cons of a decision. This is because it forces you to consider the positive and negative factors at play. As such, you can make a more informed decision considering all relevant factors.
In some cases, force field analysis can also encourage creativity. This is because it provides a framework for exploring all the different factors. As such, you can come up with new and innovative solutions that you may not have considered before.
This tool can also bolster the collaborative efforts of a team. This is because it encourages different people to share their ideas and perspectives. As such, it can help to build consensus and improve the quality of decision-making.
High-Level Overview of the Situation
By analyzing all the factors involved in a decision, force field analysis can provide a high-level overview of the situation. This can help understand the big picture and make decisions that align with the overall goal.
Simplifies the Evaluation Process
Force field analysis can simplify the evaluation process using an easy-to-understand scoring method. This is because it provides a clear and objective way to compare different options. As such, you can make decisions based on data, not just gut feeling.
How to Conduct a Force Field Analysis?
A force field analysis is used in a situation wherein an entire organization, team, or process may be affected by a potential change. Make sure everyone is in sync by allowing them to include the factors and elements that they consider to be important. To conduct a force field analysis, follow the steps outlined below:
Step 1: State and Describe the Change Proposal
Begin the force field analysis by stating the proposed change. Next, describe the elements and enumerate the objectives. Doing so will give a clear perspective on how to best address and adjust to the situation.
Step 2: Identify Driving Forces
The second step is where you will list down all the factors that are in favor of implementing the proposed changes. Keep everyone involved and informed by brainstorming with your team. That way, they can share the driving factors that they observed. List as many factors as possible to establish the need for the change. Once finished, place each identified factor on the left part of the force field analysis diagram.
Step 3: Identify Restraining Forces
List down all the factors that oppose or are against the proposed change. As with the driving forces, allow everyone to participate in the brainstorming session. That way, you can identify all the restraining forces at play. Be sure to list as many factors as possible to get a clear picture of the situation. Once finished, place each of the identified factors on the right part of the force field analysis diagram.
Step 4: Incorporate Scores
This stage in the analysis is where you will evaluate the impact of the identified factors by incorporating a corresponding score to each one. The scores attached to each factor will vary depending on the user. However, the most utilized scoring methods are scores of either 1 to 5 or 1 to 10—one being the lowest and either 5 or 10 being the highest.
Be careful when assessing how the scores correspond to the value of each factor. For example, a low score should not be given to a factor just because it is on the restraining side. Instead, this step aims to identify which factors have the most impact and need to be given more attention.
Step 5: Tally, Analyze, and Apply
Once you’re done giving scores to each factor, you can start tallying them to see which side weighs more. To do this, add all the scores for each side and then compare the totals.
The general goal of using a force field analysis is to ensure that for a change to be implemented effectively; the driving forces should be stronger than the restraining forces. If the force of change has a higher total score, you can proceed with the implementation of this change. Otherwise, if the restraining forces have a higher total score, it is best to rethink or scrap the change proposal.
Force Field Analysis Sample
Now that we know how to conduct a force field analysis, it’s time to see an example of one. Let’s say that a company’s management is considering changing its employee uniforms. The factors and elements that they will have to consider are as follows:
- The cost of the new uniforms
- Whether or not the new uniforms will be comfortable to wear
- If the new uniforms will make the employees look more professional
- The amount of time to implement the change
- How employees will react to the change
We can now start conducting our force field analysis based on these factors.
- Step 1: The proposed change is to switch employee uniforms. The objective is to improve the company’s image and make employees more comfortable at work.
- Step 2: The driving forces for this change are that the new uniforms will make employees look more professional and that they will be more comfortable to wear. These factors have been given a score of 8 and 7, respectively.
- Step 3: The restraining forces against this change are the cost of the new uniforms and the time it will take to implement them. These factors have been given a score of 5 and 4, respectively.
- Step 4: When we tally up the scores, we see that the driving forces have a total score of 15, while the restraining forces have a total score of nine. This means that the proposed change is likely to succeed since the driving forces are stronger than the restraining ones.
- Step 5: In this case, we would proceed with implementing the change since the driving forces are stronger than the restraining forces. However, if the scores were reversed and the restraining forces had a higher total score, we recommend against implementing the change.
Use DATAMYTE as Your Tool for Force Field Analysis
Force field analysis is more efficient when relevant team members or stakeholders can access files or documents directly to ensure everyone is on the same page. The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is DATAMYTE’s powerful workflow automation software that businesses can use to apply the force field analysis method when implementing changes.
With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you and your teammates can create a force field analysis diagram wherein you can input all the relevant information, such as the factors, scores, and conclusions. You can also share this template with your team for maximum collaboration and transparency.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is also equipped with features that will allow you to track the progress of your project and see which changes have been made. Plus, you can also generate reports to help you evaluate the success of your force field analysis.
Book a demo with us today to learn more about how DATAMYTE can help you with force field analysis. We’ll be happy to show you how our software can streamline your decision-making process.
As you can see, force field analysis is a simple but effective tool that can be used to improve your decision-making skills. So the next time you’re facing a difficult decision, try using this technique to improve your chances of success. And, of course, take full advantage of this decision-making tool by creating one using DATAMYTE.