Quality Progress - January 2016 - (Page 33)

Best of JULY 2001 BACK TO BASICS Solve Problems With Open Communication A force field analysis helps employees meet organizational goals by Grace L. Duffy, John Bauer and John W. Moran A force field analysis is a tool that can help employees resolve issues to meet the goals of their organizations. It helps identify forces currently supporting or working against the solution of an issue, so positives can be reinforced and negatives eliminated or reduced.1 Force field analysis began as a tool to assist management and minimize barriers to change, but it quickly became a useful vehicle for facilitating at all levels of an organization. GOAL/QPC included a description of force field analysis in its Memory Jogger Series as early as 1992 and incorporated it into the first edition of The Memory Jogger II in 1994.2 How is a force field analysis created? Start by drawing a large letter T on a piece of paper. Write the issue at hand at the top of the paper (see Figure 1). As a group, describe the ideal situation by resolving the issue, and write the resolution below the issue statement. Have a facilitator work with the group to brainstorm forces leading to or preventing the ideal situation. These forces may be internal or external. List positive forces on the left side of the T and, on the right side, forces limiting movement toward the ideal state. For example, the analysis in Figure 1 focuses on meetings starting late. Using time effectively, planning What does the tool do? other activities so schedules are realA force field analysis does the folistic, valuing members equally and lowing: publishing an agenda are all forces * Presents the positives and negathat support on-time meetings. tives of a situation so they are Changing priorities, overcommitted easily comparable. schedules, low team morale and lack * Considers all aspects of making the of meeting notice all contribute to desired change. meetings not starting on time. * Encourages agreement about the Once all positive and negative forces relative priority of factors on each are listed, prioritize the forces that need side of the balance sheet. to be strengthened or identify the * Encourages honest reflection on restraining forces that need to be minithe underlying roots of a problem mized to accomplish on-time meetings. and its solution. For instance, send an agenda two days The only supplies needed to perbefore each meeting. This provides a form a force field analysis are a pencil positive structure and removes the and paper, or a flip chart and marker negative force of no meeting notice. if you're working in a large group. The facilitator keeps discussion going among the participants until consensus is reached on FIGURE 1 Force Field Analysis Diagram each impediment to starting meetings on time. Issue: Meetings starting late A versatile tool Ideal state: To start meetings on time + Driving forces Restraining forces - Use time effectively Changing priorities Help plan other activities Overcommitted schedules Value all members equally Low team morale Publish agenda Lack of meeting notice 160 I J U L Y 2 0 0 1 I W W W . A S Q . O R G Force field analysis can be used to analyze and assign key tasks in strategic or project planning. All levels of employees can use the tool to identify positive and negative issues in a situation. As in any planning activity, the team should identify both positive and negative forces affecting the task.3 Force field analysis encourages team members to raise questions throughout the process. These questions shouldn't be considered obstacles to successful planning, but should instead be valued and not crushed.4 Force field analysis is a powerful tool that encourages communication at all levels of management. By creating a structured environment for problem solving, it minimizes feelings of defensiveness. There is a feeling of openness about problem solving because all members of the group are focused on the issue, rather than personal agendas. Hierarchical or traditional power structures are less liable to restrict the flow of creative ideas. Quality and improvement thrive where communication is encouraged. Force field analysis supports creative dialogue among group members. The tool is simple to use, easy to represent graphically and applicable to all levels of an organization. REFERENCES 1. Michael Brassard, Diane Ritter and Francine Oddo, editors, The Memory Jogger II, first edition (Methuen, MA: GOAL/QPC, 1997). 2. Ibid. 3. Terence T. Burton and John W. Moran, The Future Focused Organization (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995). 4. Ibid. GRACE L. DUFFY is a management and performance specialist at Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC. Duffy is a Senior Member of ASQ and incoming chair of the Quality Management Division. She is also a certified quality auditor and certified quality manager. JOHN BAUER is president of QA/QC Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. He is a Fellow Member of ASQ and incoming chair-elect of the Quality Management Division. Bauer is also a certified quality auditor, certified quality manager and quality systems lead auditor. JOHN W. MORAN is senior vice president at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. He is a Fellow Member of ASQ and current chair of the Quality Management Division. Moran is also a certified quality manager. QP January 2016 * QP 33

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - January 2016

According to Plan
Solid Proof
Use Your Head
Stakeholder Management 101
Customer Delight
All About Data
Eight Simple Steps
Minimizing Chaos
Take Note
Pyramid Scheme
Assessing Failure
Which Six Sigma Metric Should I Use?
Turning ‘Who’ Into ‘How’
In the Beginning
Outputs and Outcomes
That’s So Random—Or Is It?
Understanding Variation
Improving a System
Putting It All on the Table
Know the Drill
It’s Fun To Work With an F-M-E-A
Solve Problems With Open Communication
Tell Me About It
Separate the Vital Few From the Trivial Many
To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?
Breaking It Down
Smart Charting
1 + 1 = Zero Defects
QFD Explained
Curve Your Enthusiasm
Make a Choice
What Is a Fault Tree Analysis?
Successful Relationship Diagrams
The Benefits of PDCA
Creative Combination
Return on Investment
The Art of Root Cause Analysis
Why Ask Why?
Get to the Root of It
Checks and Balances
Calculated Risk
Sufficient Evidence
Sample Wise
Clearing SPC Hurdles
Supplier Selection and Maintenance
Team Advantage
Building a Quality Team
Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems
Substantiation Test
Training Day

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