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Force Field Analysis

What is it?

A Force Field Analysis is a Quality Improvement (QI) tool designed to identify driving (positive) and restraining (negative) forces that support or work against the solution of an issue or problem.

When the driving and restraining forces are identified, steps can be taken to reinforce the driving forces and reduce the restraining forces

What does the Force Field do?

  • Allows comparisons of the “positives” and “negatives” of a situation
  • Enables easy comparisons
  • Forces people to think together about all the aspects of making the desired change a permanent one
  • Encourages people to agree about the relative priority of factors on each side of an issue
  • Supports the honest and open reflection on the underlying root
    causes of a problem and ways to break down barriers

How to create a Force Field Analysis

  1. Draw a letter “T” on a flipchart page
  2. Write the name of the issue or project across the top of the page
  3. Label the left column “Driving Forces” and the right column the “Restraining Forces”
  4. Use brainstorming or nominal group technique (NGT) to generate the list of forces or factors that are driving the issue or project and those that are restraining or the holding things back
  5. Eliminate duplicate ideas and clarify any ideas that are vague or not specific
  6. If the team feels the need, they can use rank ordering to set priorities for the driving and restraining forces
  7. Generate a list of ideas about actions that can be taken to reduce the restraining forces

Example of a Force Field Analysis

Force Field Analysis chart