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A person on a computer representing Operations and Maintenance Manuals.

What is an Operations and Maintenance Document?

An “Operations and Maintenance Procedure,” document is also called an “O&M document.” This form of technical documentation provides: 

  • All the details necessary concerning the operation.
  • Maintenance.
  • Demolition of a physical plant (such as a building).

Even though O&M documents are not mandatory by law, the document allows the maintenance staff to keep the building in good working order.

The Purpose of Operations and Maintenance Documentation

Similar to most forms of technical documentation, operations, and maintenance documentation helps readers better understand a somewhat complex process. Thus, operations and maintenance manuals can also reduce operating costs. Since there will be fewer workplace errors and inefficiencies with proper documentation. In addition, these detailed manuals can also extend the lifetimes of assets and equipment when the maintenance staff knows how to best care for their appliances. The most common O&M manuals are product installation manuals, software and data administration manuals, user manuals, and quick reference guides.

What is a Software Maintenance Manual?

This form of an O&M document describes the procedures for installing and maintaining the software for a particular piece of equipment. The primary reason for this manual is to improve performance. The manual also adapts the product to a modified environment, corrects errors, and modifies the software product after delivery. To properly maintain the product, a programmer knows the software environment (such as the operating system, database system, and compiler). However, to better handle the task you must hire a programmer familiar with the software. The document will generally contain a list of all the software used, data flow diagrams, and a description of all the software systems and sub-systems.

Mapping Program to Reduce Cost

Software architectures, controllers, databases, and device handlers are all described here. The operations and maintenance document will also provide the files and programs required to install the software and configure the hardware. In addition, outline the manual in the data handling process. In this document, the program is mapped out at the start of the planning cycle and tracked until completion. By doing so, programmers include all steps to ensure completion. Also, it prevents maintenance from accounting for a significant portion of the project’s costs. Thus, it reduces operating costs substantially while focusing on maintenance.

What is a Data Administration Manual?

There is nothing more tedious than writing software maintenance and data administration manuals. Although, they remain one of the most important documents to an IT department. Additionally, these documents are vital to company success because they bridge business decision-makers and IT personnel through a common language and flowcharts. Moreover, these manuals identify exactly which parts of a system are problematic, allowing people in business to invest more resources there. Also,  this form of technical writing can reduce training and maintenance costs by reducing the likelihood of costly misunderstandings using commonly understood terms and strategy patterns.

How Can EDC Help?

Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, we guarantee the quality of our work. We provide an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or

Written by Alexa Do