General Election 2024

Read our analysis of the general election result and what it means for charities. Learn more

Forcefield analysis

This page is free to all

What the tool is

Force-field analysis is a tool to help you identify the forces working for and against a particular option, and understand what can help or block change. It’s particularly helpful as a workshop tool.

Why you should use it

It helps you decide whether a change or option is a good idea. If you have to make a particular change, it helps you work out what you need to consider when planning your actions.

It is useful when you’re considering any option, change or problem. It’s not just a strategy tool but also a general change management tool.

When you should use it

You can use it:

  • when choosing between a number of options. Identifying the forces working for and against each option will help you to choose the right options for your organisation
  • When you have decided to, or have to, make a change. Identifying the forces working for and against the change will help you to plan and make the change a success.

How to use the tool

This tool is particularly helpful as a workshop tool.

  1. Be clear on the change or option you want to explore
  2. Draw a table as shown below
  3. List the positive and negative forces working for and against the change or option
  4. Once you’ve listed the forces at work, you can weigh or rank them to show potential impact
  5. Think about what you can do to make the most of the forces working for the option, and manage or work with the forces working against the option
  6. Decide whether you want to proceed with the option, and what you have to do to make it work
Grey table with purple heading block with the words 'Positive forces: Facilitating' in the top left and 'Negative forces: Blocking' on the top right in white with white arrows below each heading

Last reviewed: 04 July 2022

Help us improve this content

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 04 July 2022

Back to top

Sign up for emails

Get regular updates on NCVO's help, support and services