Force Field Analysis

Kurt Lewin created Force Field Analysis in the 1940s, which is a potent framework for comprehending the variables impacting a circumstance, choice, or change endeavor. It offers a systematic approach to recognizing and evaluating the factors that are pushing for and against a specific result. Individuals and organizations may make educated judgments and create plans to either support change or uphold the status quo by graphically charting these factors.

Measurement Systems Evaluation

Components of Force Field Analysis

Driving forces:

These are the things that encourage change or a particular result. These factors that support the intended condition may be internal or external. In the context of business, driving forces could be things like organizational objectives, market demands, or technical breakthroughs.

Restraining Forces:

Conversely, restraining forces are things that oppose change or the intended result. These may include things like the culture of the company, employee resistance, or budgetary limitations. Determining these forces is essential to comprehending possible obstacles to change.


Lewin postulated that a system's current condition is determined by the equilibrium between driving and restraining forces. Change happens when the motivating factors are stronger. On the other hand, the system stays in place if the restraint forces are in control. Determining the probability of a successful change requires an understanding of this equilibrium

Applications of Force Field Analysis

  • Identifying Forces: State your goal or the change you are examining in detail at the outset. It could be an organizational shift, a business choice, or a process improvement

    List all the relevant driving and restraining forces that come to mind when considering the circumstances.

  • Scoring the Forces: Rate each force according to its potency or effect on the circumstance. Stakeholders in the analysis will subjectively evaluate the results in this step.

    Scores, which convey the relative importance of each force, can be either quantitative or qualitative.

  • Visual Representation: Use a force field diagram to provide a visual depiction of the forces. To depict driving and restraint forces, this usually entails sketching a horizontal line with arrows going in opposite directions.

    In accordance with their relative strengths, arrange the identified forces along the line.

  • Evaluation and Choice-Making: Examine the diagram to comprehend how the driving and restraint forces are often balanced. Change is possible if driving factors are greater; status quo maintenance may be more likely if restraining forces are more powerful.

    Make wise decisions and devise plans to either increase motivating factors, decrease limiting factors, or strike a balance between the two by using the analysis.

Advantages of Force Field Analysis

Focus and Clarity

Force Field Analysis helps stakeholders focus on the most important components by offering a clear and focused view of the factors influencing a scenario

Management of Change:

Force Field Analysis aids in the identification of possible roadblocks and enables organizations to create implementation plans that will lead to effective change.

Making Well-Informed Decisions:

By gaining a greater comprehension of the factors involved, decision-makers are better equipped to make well- informed and strategic choices.


An efficient method for communication in talks and presentations about change initiatives and decision-making is the visual portrayal of forces

Challenges and Criticism in Force Field Analysis

Despite its benefits, Force Field Analysis has its drawbacks and detractors. To utilize the tool effectively and supplement it with other ways when needed, it's crucial to be aware of these limitations. The following are a few of the difficulties and objections to force field analysis:

Subjectivity & Prejudice:

The fact that Force Field Analysis entails subjective judgments is one of its main objections. The evaluation of forces, either propelling or impeding, is dependent on the perspectives and judgments of those engaged in the examination. Subjectivity has the potential to add bias and may not always precisely reflect the situation's objective reality.

Simplifying Complicated Circumstances:

Force Field Analysis is criticized for its propensity to oversimplify difficult issues. The model may need to accurately represent the complexities of real-world situations since it assumes a very simple cause-and-effect relationship between the driving and restraining forces.

Static Illustration:

Forces are shown in the model as static entities at a specific moment in time. In actuality, forces are dynamic and subject to change. It's possible that the study will not take changing conditions or unanticipated changes in the ratio of motivating to restraint factors into consideration.

Limited Ability to Predict:

Although Force Field Analysis offers valuable insights into a system's present state, its forecasting power may be restricted. It doesn't always foretell how forces will change or how well actions will work to tip the scales in favor of driving rather than restraining forces.

Challenges with Quantification:

It can be difficult to give the forces numerical scores for analytical purposes. Accurately estimating the influence of each force is challenging, particularly when addressing qualitative aspects.

Force Field Analysis in Six Sigma

Organizations throughout the world employ the potent Six Sigma approach to streamline operations, lower error rates, and increase overall productivity. Force Field Analysis is a crucial tool in the Six Sigma toolbox. This method, which was created by the well-known psychologist Kurt Lewin, helps to identify the forces that promote and impede change in an organization. Force Field Analysis becomes an essential tool for accomplishing process improvement objectives in the context of Six Sigma.

Relation between Force Field Analysis and Six Sigma

Force Field Analysis:

The foundation of Force Field Analysis is the idea that all situations are the product of competing forces, both restraining and driving forces, that prevent change from occurring. These dynamics may have an impact on the outcome of process improvement projects in a Six Sigma setting.

Finding the Driving Forces:

In the context of Six Sigma, the driving forces are the elements that push the company in the direction of its process improvement objectives. These could be a strategic emphasis on customer satisfaction, a continuous improvement culture, or a dedication to quality. For Six Sigma to be implemented successfully, it is essential to recognize and improve these driving forces.

Recognising Restraining Forces:

On the other hand, restraining forces are the obstacles or hurdles that stand in the way of advancement. This could be due to inadequate training, a lack of resources, or opposition to change. For Six Sigma initiatives to run well, these restraints must be effectively managed and mitigated.

Data-Driven Analysis:

Force Field Analysis is a great fit with Six Sigma's emphasis on data-driven decision-making. Data, both quantitative and qualitative, are gathered to evaluate the potency and significance of every force. By using a data-driven strategy, organizations can make well- informed decisions by having a clear grasp of the factors at work.

Applying Force Field Analysis in Six Sigma

Describe the issue:

Start by precisely identifying the issue or procedure that needs to be improved. This is the first phase in any Six Sigma project and lays the groundwork for using Force Field Analysis

Determine Forces:

Enumerate the forces that are propelling and impeding the issue. While restraining forces could include opposition to change, antiquated technology, or a lack of experience, driving forces could include the dedication of leadership, employee involvement, and the availability of resources.

Assign Weightage

Give each force a numerical value that represents its strength or influence on the issue. This weighting aids in determining which forces, within the parameters of the particular improvement project, are most significant.

Create Action Plans:

In order to strengthen the driving factors and lessen the influence of the restraining forces, develop action plans based on the analysis. This could entail making training program investments, obtaining more funding, or putting change management techniques into practice

Track Progress:

Keep a close eye on the Six Sigma project's advancement and the efficiency of the action plans. As circumstances change, the organization can make the necessary adjustments to be flexible.

Celebrate Success and Learn:

After the Six Sigma project is successfully implemented, acknowledge your accomplishments and draw conclusions from your experience. The organization's future initiatives are informed by this reflection, which is essential for ongoing improvement

Advantages of Force Field Analysis in Six Sigma

Holistic View:

Force Field Analysis offers a full insight into the organizational landscape by offering a holistic view of the elements driving a Six Sigma initiative.

Making Well-Informed Decisions:

Organisations can make well-informed decisions on process changes by depending on data and analysis, which guarantees that efforts are focused on the areas that will have the biggest effects.

Proactive Problem Solving:

One of Force Field Analysis's main advantages is its capacity to foresee and deal with possible obstacles (restraining forces) before they arise. This proactive strategy fits in with Six Sigma's focus on prevention.

Strategic Resource Allocation:

Allocating resources wisely increases the likelihood that Six Sigma initiatives will be successful. This is possible when organizations have a comprehensive grasp of the forces that are pushing and pulling in different directions.

Enhanced Change Management:

By detecting and addressing resistance causes early in the process, Force Field Analysis assists organizations in navigating the complexity of change management.

Examples of Force Field Analysis in Six Sigma

Example 1: Increasing Production Line Efficiency

The goal of a manufacturing company is to increase production line efficiency in order to decrease faults and raise overall output.

    1. Motivating Factors
  • The business just invested in cutting-edge manufacturing machinery.

  • Workers have improved their skills through Six Sigma training.

  • Efforts to enhance processes have the backing of top management

    2. Forces that restrain
  • Certain employees are unwilling to embrace novel procedures.

  • There is little money available for new equipment or additional training.

  • It isn't easy to implement adjustments because employees are currently working at their full potential.

    3. Plans of Action
  • Create a program for change management to overcome resistance and promote an improvement-oriented culture.

  • Set aside funds for focused training sessions to close skill gaps.

  • Do a cost-benefit analysis to seek more funding for the upgrades that are required.

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Example 2: Streamlining the Order Fulfilment Process

The objective of the e-commerce company is to enhance customer happiness and reduce delivery times by streamlining the order fulfillment process.

    1. Motivating Factors
  • The business has invested in a cutting-edge system for processing orders.

  • Customer surveys underscore the significance of expedited delivery times.

  • Rivals have successfully deployed similar advancements

    2. Forces that restrain:
  • Older systems that are incompatible with the new order processing system are known as legacy systems.

  • Workers at the warehouse are used to the current procedure and are reluctant to alter it.

  • It can be not easy to achieve speedier delivery times in some geographic locations.

    3. Plans of Action
  • Upgrade legacy systems gradually and make sure they are compatible.

  • Create a change management strategy to handle staff grievances and offer new process training.

  • Work together with logistical partners to plan and get beyond geographical obstacles.

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Example 3: Minimising Software Development Errors

The objective of a software development firm is to decrease product defects in order to increase client satisfaction

    1. Motivating Factors
  • The business has made investments in state-of-the-art automated testing equipment.

  • The quality assurance group possesses a high level of expertise and drive.

  • Customer feedback shows that the present defect rate is not meeting their expectations.

    2. Forces that restrain
  • Project schedules that are too tight leave little time for comprehensive testing.

  • A few members of the team are against using automated testing techniques.

  • Financial constraints prevent the purchase of more testing resources.

    3. Plans of Action
  • Project schedules should be optimized to make room for more thorough testing.

  • To promote the use of automated testing, offer incentives and training.

  • Provide a convincing business case for more funding by highlighting the long-term advantages of defect reduction.

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In the ever-changing field of process improvement, Six Sigma professionals needto use instruments that can identify problems and offer practical fixes. In thissense, Force Field Analysis is a shining light that leads organizations through anorganized evaluation of the forces driving change. Utilizing this tool in conjunctionwith the Six Sigma methodology allows organizations to successfully manage theinterplay between motivating and inhibiting factors, leading to long-lasting processenhancements and operational excellence.