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8.4.12 Operation & Maintenance Plan Templates

Purpose of this Document

This document describes how the finished system will be operated and maintained. Operation and maintenance activities were described in Chapter 3.7.2. These templates describe the scope and content of the Operation & Maintenance Plan, which covers both hardware and software.

The Operation & Maintenance Plan is prepared incrementally during system implementation, and revised as needed during on-going system operation. The first version should be produced as early in the project as possible, to ensure that operation and maintenance needs are understood and planned for. This initial version may be quite limited in content, focusing on issues such as staffing, funding, and documentation that need to be worked on well in advance of system startup. Details of specific operation and maintenance activities can be added as needed, and after the system is developed and its specific characteristics are known.

The Operation & Maintenance Plan is separate from operating manuals and maintenance manuals provided by system or component developers or suppliers. Those documents describe detailed procedures, whereas the O&M Plan describes resource organization, responsibilities, policies, and general procedures. For example, the O&M Plan may say that the system administrator will ensure that databases are backed up daily. An operation or maintenance manual will describe how to do a backup.

Tailoring this Document to Your Project

Operation and maintenance activities can usually be described in a single plan. However, for large or complex systems it may be appropriate to prepare a maintenance plan separately from the operation plan. Similarly, large or complex systems may warrant separate plans for specific aspects of operation or maintenance, including configuration management, staff training, data management, safety, and security.

Some sections of the document described below may not be needed for a particular system. Other systems may need additional sections not mentioned here. The plan should provide sufficient information for the system to be effectively operated and maintained, even in the event of a complete turn-over of the personnel originally involved.

The project Concept of Operations, System Requirements, and Design Documents will provide initial guidance as to the extent and nature of operation and maintenance activities. As specific components are procured and implemented, the plan can be updated and expanded to include more specific information.

For small or simple systems, configuration management may be covered within the Operation and Maintenance Plan. Otherwise it will be the subject of a separate plan [see 7.5 Configuration Management Plan]. The two are closely related.

Since the Operation and Maintenance Plan needs to be used and updated throughout the life of the system, it is not appropriate to merely make it a section within the Project Plan.

Checklist: Critical Information

check Does the Operation and Maintenance Plan answer all the questions of who, what, where, and when concerning operation and maintenance?
check Does the Plan identify the personnel responsible for operation and maintenance?
check Does the Plan identify the human resources and facilities, including tools, needed for operation and maintenance?
check Does the Plan identify funding sources for on-going operation and maintenance?
check Does the Plan describe the operation and maintenance activities to be performed?
check Does the Plan describe the checks to be made, and the data to be collected, for health and performance monitoring?
check Does the Plan cover periodic reporting of system health and performance to provide feedback to management on the effectiveness of operations & maintenance?
check Does the Plan address the training of operators and maintenance personnel?
check Does the Plan address safety and security?
check Does the Plan identify other documents used in operations & maintenance, such as relevant policy directives, system configuration documentation, and operating & maintenance manuals?
check Does the Plan address system testing and configuration documentation updates [may be dealt with in a separate Configuration Management Plan], following configuration changes, repairs, and upgrades?
check Does the Plan address preventive maintenance as well as reactive maintenance?
check Does the Plan address expected life and end-of-life replacement or upgrade?


The following format is one example of many alternatives. If the new system is one of multiple systems operated and maintained by the same personnel, the material described here may be incorporated in an existing Operations & Maintenance Plan covering multiple systems.



Title Page

The title page should follow the Transportation Agency procedures or style guide. At a minimum, it should contain the following information:

  • OPERATION & MAINTENANCE PLAN FOR THE [insert name of system]
  • The organization responsible for preparing the document
  • Internal document control number, if available
  • Revision version and date issued

1.0 Purpose of Document

This section identifies the scope and purpose of the O & M Plan. It explains how it fits in with related documents such as the Configuration Management Plan, operating manuals, and maintenance manuals. Included is a brief description of the system being operated and maintained. Also covered are its stakeholders, such as agencies and departments within agencies that rely on its successful operation. The system description should list all the system elements that are the subject of this document, including auxiliary equipment and facilities such as any special air conditioning, communications links, special lighting, and/or special furniture.

2.0 Facilities and Resources

This section identifies the facilities and resources to be used for system operation and maintenance. It should cover at least the following elements:

  • Personnel, including positions, general qualifications, and specialty skills needed and a percentage of time dedicated to system operation or maintenance, if not full time.
  • Building space, including for example, rooms and space within rooms, also specialty areas such as: workshops, raised floors, additional air conditioning, additional power, and communications trunks.
  • Furniture, equipment, and tools.
  • Training needed for operations & maintenance personnel, including off-site courses, on-site courses, and hands-on training on the system itself.
  • Funding, including the amount needed each year and sources. Attempt to predict future costs, including unusual items such as end-of-life replacement.

3.0 Operations

This section describes policies and high-level procedures governing operation of the system. Minimally, it should address the activities described in the project’s Concept of Operations and any other activities needed to achieve the project’s objectives.

In general, the following information should be included in this section:

  • A clear statement of system operation goals and expectations
  • Hours of operation [if not continuous] or the conditions that trigger the commencement and termination of intermittent system operation
  • Automated processes involved in system operation
  • Operation activities [including monitoring of automated processes] needing human involvement and the personnel responsible for each
  • Backup facilities, personnel, and procedures for invoking use of backups
  • Interaction and coordination needed with other systems and personnel, including policies for decision making, overrides, and notification in the event of competing interests
  • Special procedures and interactions which apply in the event of major emergencies
  • Parameters used to monitor the effectiveness of system operation. Also, how those data are to be collected and reported
  • Policies on security, covering access to the system [e.g., log in/out, password management, remote access, and firewalls.], and fire and safety.
  • Procedures related to system health monitoring and reporting, initiation of maintenance actions, and hand-off between operation and maintenance personnel at both the start and end of maintenance actions
  • Policies regarding data collection and archiving, including what data are to be stored for how long
  • Policies regarding privacy, such as restrictions on the use of cameras and recording of information that may be able to identify individuals
  • Policies regarding visits, telephone inquiries, and other interactions with interested parties such as other ITS professionals, researchers, news reporters, and the public
  • Construction activities that must precede deployment
  • Deployment of interfacing systems [especially by other agencies] that must precede deployment of a system feature
  • The need to create a viable operational capability at each stage of the deployment. This influences how much of the system must be deployed at each step

Following the statement of the goals and objectives, a high level view of the deployment strategy is presented. This covers and describes each phase of deployment at each of the sites involved. It describes what is deployed. Where it is deployed. What operational capabilities are the results of this phase of the deployment? It ties the plan to the previously identified goals and objectives. So, the stakeholders can understand the rationale for each phase. This summary should include an estimate of the cost of each phase to show that the plan satisfies the funding profile and should show the overall deployment schedule.

4.0 Maintenance

This section describes policies and high-level procedures governing maintenance of the system. It should address both proactive [preventive] and reactive [corrective] activities needed to keep the system fully operational.

In general, the following information should be included in this section:

  • Preventive maintenance activities and the time schedule or other triggers for each activity
  • Corrective maintenance activities, the relative urgency of each, and the maximum target response and correction times for each type of fault
  • Policies with regard to purchase of spare equipment, manufacturer or vendor maintenance agreements or extended warranties, and third party maintenance contracts
  • Parameters used to monitor the effectiveness of system maintenance, and how those data are to be collected and reported
  • Procedures for coordination with operations personnel and activities
  • Demarcation of responsibilities relative to maintenance by other parties and procedures for coordination with personnel responsible for interconnected systems or components that are not part of this system


A list of the names and contact information of personnel currently assigned to system operation and maintenance. Include the names and contact information of personnel in other parts of the organization or in other organizations, including emergency response services, with which system operations & maintenance personnel must interact.


Related Task Checklist  


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