Force field analysis

Force Field Analysis is an excellent way of looking at and understanding drivers involved in organizational change. Force Field Analysis approach helps managers analyze the big picture by considering all critical forces impacting the change and weighing the pros and cons. The approach analyzes the forces for change on one side and the restraining forces on the other side. The forces to be considered and analyzed are people, resources, interests, costs, practices, organizational structure, culture, tradition, skills, regulations, motivation, etc. Force Field Analysis helps managers plan and implement successful change by considering the critical issues. The Force Field Analysis is credited to Kurt Lewin.

In any given situation there are forces in balance that maintain a “state of equilibrium” or status quo.  There are always forces supporting the change on one side and forces against the change on the other side which are in balance. In order to create successful change decision makers have to change some or all of these forces in order to break the balance or status quo.
Steps in Force Field Analysis:
Define the change objective (What is the desired future state?)
Identify the driving forces (What are the forces which support the change?)
Identify the restraining forces (What are the forces which restrain the change?)
Develop the change strategy (reduce the impact of the opposing forces, strengthen the supporting forces, add more supporting forces, eliminate restraining force, turn restraining forces into supporting forces)
–          List all of the driving forces
–          Give each driving force a numerical weight from 1 (low) to 10 (high)
–          List all of the restraining forces
–          Give each restraining force a numerical weight from 1 (low) to 10 (high)
–          Add up the totals
–          Analyze major drivers
–          Start with the most critical drivers
–          Identify alternatives to support the change
–          Identify who will lead the change effort
–          Develop success criteria and timeline
–          Evaluate the change effort