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By: Kelsey McIntyre

Hi everyone! Today we will be exploring how to generate a force field analysis and how it can be beneficial when learning and applying lean principles.

A force field analysis is a tool used to visualise the driving forces and the restraining forces that affect some area of interest. It may be used to get an understanding of the forces that are helping or hurting your goal in order to optimise business processes.

Think of a goal you have within your business. It may be a certain amount of revenue, winning an award, landing a big client, improving your current model to be more user friendly, the list goes on. The goal you have in completely dependent upon you, no goal is too big or small so long as it contributes to improving your business and making it leaner.

Now imagine all of the forces acting on it, those favouring the goal and those opposing it. The forces depend upon the individual and the goal, but try to think of as many as you can. The more you think of, the more effective your analysis will be. Do you have the right resources? Is there a time limit? Is it costly? Are your people prepared and have the right skills? These are all examples of things you can consider when generating your force field.

You want to cause a shift in the forcefield in order to achieve your goal in the most efficient manner. Find ways to add to the driving forces and look to lessen or remove restraining forces. Be sure to make everything as efficient as possible, making the process Lean. Get rid of unnecessary and costly steps, break everything to its barebones while building up the positive driving forces you already have.

By doing this at the start of a project, you will be able to see what is necessary and important to do and what is extra that can be cut down. It can help to simplify the decision-making process, to analyse pros and cons in an easily observable manner and it allows decision makers to make more informed choices in terms of how to approach problems and goal. This will make the path to achieving your goal simpler, more direct and leaner.

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