Why people do and do not do things? Readiness determines the why. People only do what they are ready and willing to do. How can we apply this idea to our work?
An example might help. The IT group in an organization wanted to give new and better systems for inventory management for example. However the people who manage the inventory were reluctant. The IT director tries to explain just in time inventory and the organization reluctantly agrees to "try" a new system. One can predict that this project will fail. I have seen so many of these great ideas suggested by consultants and IT directors fail because of a lack of readiness. However the same concept applies to the IT director. Is he ready to accept the risk of failure or listen to his client?
To effect major change in an organization, the management group must be ready and willing to sponsor and support the change. I always look for the quality of management support for a change to assess the success of an initiative.
If for example the responsibility for scope and budget are split between two executives. The only hope for the project is that their boss really wants the project to be successful and does not give them a place to hide. I think using a rapid results approach will reveal problems with such a project before all the budget has been spent without anything to show for all the money.
How many times have we seen these type of projects where the organization is willing to go through the motions, without the ability to change. As the song goes, "when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?"