Successful System Deployment



Book Title:  Successful System Deployment through Operational Readiness
Author: Pascal Bohulu Mabelo
Publisher: E 6 Project Consulting (Pty) Ltd
Format: PDF eBook
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978-0-620-79883-9
Reviewer: Sherrie Dotson, PMP
Review Date: December 2022



Pascal Mabelo’s book drives home both the need and the failure of many projects to deliver business value. The author, Pascal Mabelo, contends the 1950’s Triple Constraints model as a measure of project success is often insufficient in delivering the business objectives of operational efficiencies and enhanced business opportunities. The missing component of project success being Operation Readiness.

“Successful System Deployment through Operational Readiness” highlights how the bolt-on approach of Operation Readiness at the end of a project is a contributing factor to failure to deliver on business value. Projects should instead incorporate Operation Readiness planning from project conception. Operational Readiness can remove the blind spots inherent in many systems and solution implementations too often envisioned, budgeted, and begun based on a targeted business objectives but without knowledge of the extensive system and business complexities and with unaccounted gaps in operational and organizational factors.

Overview of Book’s Structure

While the author, Pascal Mabelo, makes every attempt to write to a broader audience, it is clearly written by a professional engineer with a background in Systems Engineering and Systems Thinking. Making it a good introduction for those interested in those topics. The book is short and incorporates a lot of humor and relatable examples. The ideas and examples of many sources are provided as backup to the book’s thesis and are a good reference for further exploration. Overall, “Successful System Deployment through Operational Readiness” is the perfect length to make it practical for re-reading and study when the reader needs a refresher on concepts.

In the Introduction, Mabelo lays out the argument of the importance of Operational Readiness (OR) and its impact on project success. Next, he provides a chapter on Systems Engineering and Systems Thinking for those that want to brush up or investigate. At the beginning of several chapters there is guidance offered on whether the reader needs to read the chapter.

From there, the book is structured to progressively take the reader through more examples of the need for Operational Readiness and its impacts in the project lifecycle. Detailed chapters exist on Human Capital Readiness, Operation Readiness Implementation, Re-engineering, and Post-Implementation Reviews. Additional articles and exercises exist at the end of the book.


The shear complexity of today’s large projects leads to unanticipated outcomes. The interdependencies of code, systems, processes make it increasingly difficult to know the impact or results of a new solution or system implementation. The human factors of knowledge, skill, geography, and functional objectives add additional challenges but are often simply ignored. While these factors are clearly known to project managers, many of the existing project frameworks and methodologies simply do not adequately address or focus enough on these issues.

Mabelo outlines the need to not only verify the fulfillment of project requirements, but also to validate that the project outcomes meet stakeholder requirements since this last step that so critical to delivering business value. Unfortunately, validation is not always an achieved component of project fulfillment. “Successful System Deployment through Operational Readiness” outlines how systems and solutions must not only be realized but deployed into their “Context-System,” the targeted operational environment. The Context-System is made up of competing, sustaining, and collaborating systems. An overall OR plan considers factors in safety, efficiency, facilities, staff knowledge and capacity, legal and statutory readiness, process and workflow changes, environmental sustainability, and services and support operations, and more.

The book outlines repercussions of not considering OR in several examples ranging from Waste Management’s out-of-box ERP implementations to the Denver airport’s baggage handling system.


To read entire Book Review, click here

How to cite this work: Dotson, S. (2023). Successful System Deployment through Operational Readiness, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/pmwj125-Jan2023-Dotson-Successful-System-Deployment-through-Operational-Readiness-book-review.pdf 

Editor’s note: The original version of this book is no longer available online. For info about the updated 2020 version published by Routledge, click here.

About the Reviewer

Sherrie Dotson

Grove, Oklahoma, USA


Sherrie Dotson, PMP, is currently a project and program manager supporting corporate strategic projects. She has over 25 years of experience in the areas of security and networking with much of her career focused on technical training and enablement. She can be contacted at sherrie@skdotson.com

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