It is hard to get a manager to buck the status quo and advocate for change. And if you don't have a manager who is willing to promote the ideas and push for them (and fund them) they are DOA.
You also have to have a manager who knows enough about the technology to see why a particular change would be good. I've seen way too many IT departments run by Finance types that have no clue how to write a simple "Hello, World" program or create a table in a database that still end up in charge of the IT department. These are the quintessential sticks-in-the-mud because they don't even recognize the quicksand they are standing in.
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