Robust operations and maintenance practices include site-specific manuals

  November 28, 2014

As the complexity of critical facilities has increased to reinforce fault tolerance and concurrent maintenance, it is essential to develop equally robust operations and maintenance (O&M) practices.

In fact, comprehensive O&M services planning should be started during the schematic design phase of the project. This will ensure that all procedures, standards, staffing, and training are established and documented before the transition and occupancy phase, including: processes/procedures and operational planning; equipment maintenance and standards development; operations staff evaluation and training development; and development of standard O&M manuals that include emergency operating procedures (EOPs).

In the design and engineering community, it is common not to specify the content and format for the O&M manuals. What's more, equipment manufacturers often provide operating manuals for a range of equipment models as opposed to a specific piece of equipment. As a result, the O&M manuals are typically delivered as boilerplate documents rather than supporting owner-specific, site-specific equipment.

For the same cost and level of effort, an overall outline can be developed for the O&M manuals and steps taken to ensure that vendors meet these specifications. As the result of this effort, every manual will be equipment- and site-specific, and it will contain associated safety procedures, training requirements, spare-parts list, warranty, and all operating procedures — standard operating procedures (SOPs), maintenance operating procedures (MOPs), and EOPs.

As the manuals are delivered, they should be verified to ensure that they meet the bid specifications. That way, every O&M manual will be consistent in content and format — right down to the numbering system, section titles and type of ring binder — in every location across the entire data center portfolio. This enhances usability and saves time, especially in an emergency.


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