Workshop Exercises: Understand

Force Field Network

Analyze root causes by recursively applying Force Field Analysis

Illustration of Force Field Network
Run a Force Field Network play

Timing: Execution

Run time
60-90 minutes

Group size

Why: Gain insights into the driving and restraining forces by analyzing root causes of a problem recursively

When: Useful to understand the underlying factors influencing a problem and how to mitigate it

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

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Instructions for running this play

  1. Prepare a problem statement before the meeting, write it on a sticky note, and place it in the middle of a large surface.
    For example: “Lead time from design to research is 3 months”.
  2. What problems does this problem cause? Invite everyone to add new sticky notes and draw arrows from cause to effect.
    For example: “Research projects are too comprehensive for our needs”
  3. What are the forces that make this problem worse? Invite everyone to add new sticky notes and draw arrows from cause to effect.
    For example: “Researchers set the scope themselves”, “Delivering late has no repercussions on the team”, or “Not a cross-functional team”. Use Five Whys to dig down.
  4. Apply the same questions recursively. Combine, merge, and split as necessary. Work in parallel, in pairs or in triplets. Review each other’s work regularly. If you find cause effect relationships that cause a loop, merge them and redraw the arrows. Regularly prune nodes that don’t seem relevant.
  5. Identify sticky notes where people make conscious decisions, or where surprising consequences happen. Draw them in a different color. These describe behavior that should be changed.

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