In our experience, many facility outages are attributable to human (i.e., operator) error or mechanical failure, much of which occurs as a result of poor operations and maintenance practices1. This fact highlights the critical importance of having an effective operations and maintenance (O&M) program.

This paper describes unique management principles and provides a comprehensive, high-level overview of the necessary program elements for operating a mission critical facility efficiently and reliably throughout its life cycle. Practical management tips and advice are also given.