Operations and Maintenance Program Implementation

Implementing an effective operations and maintenance (O&M) program requires patience and persistence. This is especially true since no universal plan fits all Federal agencies.

While no universal plan exists, FEMP recommends the following common steps for implementing O&M programs:

  • Start small: Choose a project that is manageable and can be completed in a short period of time (e.g., six months to one year).

  • Select troubled equipment: Choose a project with visibility because of problematic equipment history.

  • Minimize risk: Choose a project that provides immediate and positive results. This project must be successful, so risk of failure should be minimal.

  • Keep accurate records: The projects must stand on its own merits. Accurate, if not conservative, records are critical to compare before and after results.

  • Tout successes: Project successes need to be shared with staff and the management team. Post all successes where management is likely to take notice.

  • Build off this success: Generate the success, acknowledge those involved, publicize the success, and then request more money/time/resources for the next project.

  • Be Persistent: To be sustainable, an O&M program must be visible beyond O&M management. Persistence with O&M structure, as defined by the OMETA principle, enables heightened visibility of the O&M program within other organizations.

  • Grow the program: Healthy O&M programs grow across staff, responsibility, capability, and accomplishment. Be sure to highlight the capabilities and accomplishments of the program.