Force field analysis

Facilitator's notes: 

To begin with, either state a problem or – when used as part of strategy development – state the goal of the campaign clearly. Make sure this is clearly understood in the same way by everyone.

Divide a piece of paper in half. List on one side the forces which contribute to success (the positive forces), and on the other side the obstacles (negative forces).

Campaign goal

Forces in favour and against our campaign goal

Forces and factors contributing to success (+)

Forces and factors opposed to our campaign goal (-)


All identifiable supporting and opposing forces or factors will be listed.

Then, using a point scale, the forces or factors will be given a value: what is the relevance of this force for our goal? What are the most important factors?

Prioritising forces and factors

For achieving or preventing us from achieving our goal or objective this factor is ...






… sufficient (to achieve the goal, this factor alone is sufficient)

… necessary (to achieve our goal this factor is indispensable, but other factors are also needed)

… influential (this factor has the potential to influence other – sufficient or necessary – factors positively or negatively)

… of some relevance, but (probably) it can be ignored.

… irrelevant (neutral)

All forces and factors will be grouped according to their relevance. The factors with relevance 4-2 will be further examined in how far they influence each other. It is important to identify what this means for the order in which they can be addressed – assuming that because of limitations of time and resources not all of them can be addressed in parallel. This possibly leads to a refined order of the factors which can guide the future work.

The factors ranked 4 or 3 (possibly also 2) will be examined further. What has to be done, what can be done to use the supporting factors and to strengthen them? What to avoid or weaken the inhibiting factors? Again, a table of the following format can be useful:

What can or has to be done to – in relation to our goal or objective – to ...

… make use of ...

… strengthen ...


… to avoid ...

… to get rid of/weaken ...


… supporting factor X.

… inhibiting factor Y.






If there are too many ideas, it can be useful to again rank the different proposals. The proposals with ranking 4 or 3 (and possibly 2) will then be bound together to a strategy.
You can also do a second force field analysis for factors you consider crucial, going more into depth.


Virgina Coover, Ellen Deacon, Charles Esser, Christopher Moore: Resource Manual for a Living Revolution. A Handbook of Skills & Tools for Social Change Activists. Philadelphia, 1977

Ulla Eberhard, Monika Jostes, milan, Dieter Schöffmann, Peter Wattler-Kugler: Die Organizer-Spirale. Eine Anleitung zum Mächtig-Werden für Kampagnen, Initiativen, Projekte. Arbeitshilfe für Selbsthilfe- und Bürgerinitiativen Nr. 18, Stiftung Mitarbeit, 1998

Training area: 
Organising phase: