What if a cook follows a recipe to the letter, and it turns out that the result is not what the cook expected? Can he say that the recipe failed to “work”?
A recipe is just piece of text, nothing more. You cannot say “The recipe doesn’t work,” because the recipe doesn’t do any labor. The cook is the one who does all the work.
If the cook doesn’t get what he expected, my guess is that he’s just an inexperienced cook. Maybe he didn’t compensate for the bigger-than-average eggs that he used, or the hotter-than-average oven, or the low temperature in the kitchen, or the bland taste of the cheap spices he got from the supermarket.
“The recipe doesn’t work here” is probably just an excuse for “I didn’t work to understand how to adapt to local circumstances and make the recipe work.”
What if someone says “this software method doesn’t work here”?
Jurgen is an experienced author, trainer, and speaker. Why don’t you hire him to add some spice to your company event or seminar?