Selecting a tool to assess organizational readiness


An online decision support tool was created to help practitioners and managers select the most appropriate tool to measure organizational readiness in their organizations. This tool helps organizations navigate the plethora of published readiness-for-change measures.

The assessment of an organization's readiness for change is a key element in the implementation phase of any efficacious public health intervention. "Readiness" or "readiness for change" is defined as "the extent to which organizational members are both psychologically and behaviourally prepared to implement change." Readiness assessments exist in common implementation frameworks. The online decision support tool is based on the framework by Holt et al (2009), which includes individual and organizational psychological and structural factors.

Therefore, in total, there are four key readiness areas:

  • Individual psychological factors: beliefs, problem identification, alignment with potential changes
  • Individual structural factors: knowledge, skills and ability
  • Organizational psychological factors: beliefs regarding commitment and the group's belief in its ability to implement successful change
  • Organizational structural factors: resources, communication channels, policy, personnel

These four areas inform an organization's readiness for change, and are the basis for the online decision support tool. The full protocol for development by Khan et al. can be found here (and in the Supplemental Resources below).

The tool is divided into three sections:

Section 1: User is asked questions about the organizational setting and implementation context.

Section 2: User is asked to rank a list of priorities regarding key considerations when implementing a change initiative.

Section 3: User is provided with the recommended organizational readiness measure based on their answers to the above listed two sections.

The recommended organizational readiness measure may be accessed in a variety of ways, including a link, a reference or instructions to contact the author of the recommended measure.

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The online decision support tool is very user friendly and navigates the potential user through the three sections of the tool. At the end of a series of questions, the user is provided with recommendations for one or more organizational readiness measures for use in their practice or organization.


Extensive usability testing was undertaken that informed the structure, design and redesign of the tool. Heuristic testing by a human factors engineer and individual usability testing were performed.

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

We have provided the resources and links as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by McMaster University of any of the products, services or opinions of the external organizations, nor have the external organizations endorsed their resources and links as provided by McMaster University. McMaster University bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external sites.

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