User-centric design within organizations is crucial for developing information technology that offers optimal usability and user experience. Personas are a central user-centered design technique that puts people before technology and helps decision makers understand the needs and wants of the end-user segments of their products, systems, and services. However, it is not clear how ready organizations are to adopt persona thinking. To address these concerns, we develop and validate the Persona Readiness Scale (PRS), a survey instrument to measure organizational readiness for personas. After a 12-person qualitative pilot study, the PRS was administered to 372 professionals across different industries to examine its reliability and validity, including 125 for exploratory factor analysis and 247 for confirmatory factor analysis. The confirmatory factor analysis indicated a good fit with five dimensions: Culture readiness, Knowledge readiness, Data and systems readiness, Capability readiness, and Goal readiness. Higher persona readiness is positively associated with the respondents’ evaluations of successful persona projects. Organizations can apply the resulting 18-item scale to identify areas of improvement before initiating costly persona projects towards the overarching goal of user-centric product development. Located at the cross-section of information systems and human–computer interaction, our research provides a valuable instrument for organizations wanting to leverage personas towards more user-centric and empathetic decision making about users.