identify helpers and spoilers – people, organisations or events that might help or
hinder your work.
For a similar tool, adapted for work at community level, see Balloons and Stones.
How to construct the tool
- Draw a vertical line to
represent the change you want to achieve.
- On the left side of the line
list all the forces that will help you achieve your objective. Draw an arrow
that is pushing you forwards. The thicker you make the arrow, the bigger the
help you can expect to get from that force. If you make the force bubble close
to the line, it means that it is a force near you, a local force. If it is
further away, it is at the district, regional or even national level.
- On the right side show all the
forces (people, organisations or events) that may stop you from achieving your
objective. Make an arrow that is pushing you backwards. The thicker the arrow,
the bigger the threat from that force. If you make the force bubble close to
the line, it means that it is a force near you, a local force. If it is further
away, it is at the district, regional or even national level.
- When you have done this,
consider which forces you can influence, either strengthening the positive
forces or weakening the negative ones.
- In the light of your analysis,
you may want to review your plan of action and modify your strategy.
Suggestions for use
Force field analysis is very
useful to assess risks to a project.
The force field could also be
drawn horizontally as a timeline,
showing the driving and restraining forces that at different stages might help
you or stop you from reaching your goal: