Enhancing organizational readiness for implementation: constructing a typology of readiness-development strategies using a modified Delphi process

Implement Sci. 2021 Jun 10;16(1):61. doi: 10.1186/s13012-021-01132-0.


Background: Knowledge about the development of organizational readiness for implementation (ORI) is limited. ORI, referred to as the willingness and capacity of all relevant stakeholders to change practice, is critical for increasing the adoption rate of evidence-based practices and improving implementation outcomes. However, no methodology currently guides ORI's enhancement or addresses differences in readiness needs across an organization. This study used the transtheoretical model (TTM) as a framework for classifying a well-established compilation of implementation strategies into three readiness stages: pre-contemplation, contemplation, and preparation.

Methods: A modified Delphi method was used to establish consensus among a panel of purposefully selected research and field implementation experts. The Delphi process involved three rounds of online questionnaires. The third round also included a live video discussion to clarify definitions in an effort to increase consensus among experts.

Results: Of the 73 strategies reviewed, the experts identified 75% (n = 55) as relevant for pre-implementation and reached a high-level agreement on the assignment of 7% (n = 5) of the strategies to the pre-contemplation stage (ORI-1), 25% (n = 18) to the contemplation stage (ORI-2), and 52% (n = 38) to the preparation stage (ORI-3). Several strategies were identified as relevant to more than one stage.

Conclusions: Participating experts were able to reach high-level agreement on the relevance of specific sets of implementation strategies to each of the three ORI stages. The lowest number of strategies was assigned to ORI-1 and the highest number to ORI-3. Given the overlap of strategies across ORI stages, there is a need to better understand the specific utilization of such strategies at different stages. Future studies are needed to empirically evaluate the relevance and applicability of this expert-informed typology based on implementers' experiences in the field.

Keywords: Evidence-based practices; Implementation strategies; Modified Delphi; Organizational readiness for change; Pre-implementation; Stage-based; Transtheoretical model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Evidence-Based Practice*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires