The Force Field Analysis
Problem solving can be a tricky and complicated process. Often times the initial step of identifying the problem and coming up with possible solutions is the hardest part. Businesses, schools, and any team settings around the world use many established problem solving tools and techniques. These range from brainstorming, mind mapping, imagining, and many others. Groups use these techniques to add some order to a potential chaotic experience. One popular tool is known as Force Field Analysis.
Force Field Analysis is a technique developed my Kurt Lewin (Team Building, 2005). Force Field Analysis is the act of taking a proposed plan or solution and weighing the pros and cons (Force Field, 2005). The two forces in this analysis are the driving forces and the restraining forces. The driving forces are the forces which are affecting the situation in a positive way. They help the plan move forward. Restraining forces decrease the driving forces. Restraining forces are usually obstacles which would prevent the project from moving forward. Force Field Analysis is often used in conjunction with brainstorming.
Force Field Analysis, if done correctly, is a simple technique to use. The first step in completing this technique is having a decision, plan, or solution. Every member of the team brainstorms forces for and against the change, and then those forces are listed in their respected columns. Then the team decides on a score for each of these forces. Scores may range from one to five, one being week and five being strong. For example, if one of the driving forces was a twenty percent increase in profits, that would more than likely get a score of four or five. The greater the force, the higher the score. After all the forces are scored the scores from each column are totaled. If the restraining forces far outscore the driving forces, the project may be better left undone. After the tallying of scores is done, and a decision is made to go forward with the project, the Force Field Analysis can help increase the likelihood of success. Steps may be taken to reduce the strength of the restraining forces or to increase the strength of the driving forces...