Project Management

Organizational Readiness Assessment

last edited by: Jose Machicao on Dec 16, 2007 1:20 PM login/register to edit this page

1 Application
2 Procedures
3 Instructions
4 Examples

This technique analyzes the established culture and the indicators of how ready an organization is for radical changes in the way it does business, now and in the future. An Organizational Readiness Assessment is performed as part of an evaluation of the social systems for the enterprise. (The social systems are the structure to motivate, pay, and drive people to perform a process.) This excludes the technical systems.


  • To assess if an enterprise is ready for radical change. An organizational readiness assessment clearly identifies the perception of the stakeholders toward change and if they are ready to proceed.


  1. Conduct structured interviews with key stakeholders.
  2. Distribute questionnaires to a cross-section of the organization.
  3. Collect and synthesize data.
  4. Provide feedback to the participants.
  5. Develop an action plan to build the realigned organization.


This process starts with the enterprise change project team interviewing the key stakeholders, typically the highest level people in the organization. This can, however, include lower level key stakeholders such as union representatives. Each interview normally lasts two hours. Questionnaires are given in group sessions to large numbers of people. This sample should be a diagonal slice of the enterprise. Giving the questionnaires in a group session ensures that they will be returned, and clarification can be given if there are any questions. After the interviews and questionnaires have been analyzed and synthesized, the results are shared interactionally during a one- to two-day workshop for change, attended by the key stakeholders (see Workshops and Facilitation).

The results of the workshop include a charter, stating the mission and the organizational enablers and barriers (see Force Field Analysis) to effecting the change process. Required changes in behavior, modifications of social systems necessary to construct the realigned organization, paths to success, and critical next step actions are identified. The stakeholders must reach a consensus and end the session understanding their responsibility for making the changes successful. Organizational Readiness Inventories are conducted on a diagonal slice of the organization to identify areas that require focused facilitation, as well as systemic organizational problems that could be a source of failure for the project, if not addressed.

Another way to analyze the information collected from the interviews or questionnaire is to use a Kiviat diagram, as shown in the following example. The main assessment components may be categorized from the information collection effort as follows:

  • Organizational Vision and Goals - statements of directions, milestones, timing, etc.
  • Motivation For Change - the extent to which an organization understands why it needs to change to be successful
  • Personnel Skill Level - assess the skill levels of the staff available to lead the enterprise through a change program
  • Cultural Characteristics - assess the degree to which the company will provide multilevel support to the change activities. (This has a direct impact on whether personnel will commit to the effort required to identify and implement changes.). It is also important to register a general map of the understanding the members of the organization have about management and about change. This will help to relate expectancies to solutions in the following steps.
  • Organizational Support - assess the support, both political and financial, the organization sponsoring the changes has within the enterprise
  • Applicability - a summary of the key areas defined above
The assessment should highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the organization with regard to change readiness. Specific actions required to fully position the organization for success are also prepared.

These factors need to be normalized for comparison from zero to 100 percent. As shown in the example, zero is at the center of the wheel and 100 is at the outer edge of the wheel. The diagram is drawn with each factor represented as a spoke along the wheel. The percentages are plotted for each factor, and a line is drawn between each point to graphically depict the readiness of the organization with respect to each factor. A diagram is developed to portray the initial state of the organization's readiness. One could also be drawn to portray the desired state. These could then be compared, over time, to track progress to the desired state (See Kiviat Diagramming).


organizational readiness assessment

organizational readiness assessment 2

last edited by: Jose Machicao on Dec 16, 2007 1:20 PM login/register to edit this page


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