The new series GOES-8 and -9 launched in 1994 and 1995 provide more flexible instrument coverage and higher resolution than previous GOES spinners. This added flexibility and the 3-axis stabilized operating mode however resulted in a more complex satellite system with independent imager and sounder, and on-board image navigation systems requiring more daily commanding. Nearly 5000 realtime commands are currently sent each day to each GOES-8 and -9 spacecraft compared to 200 commands per day for GOES-7. These new technological advancements in spacecraft design presented new challenges for the NASA operations support personnel. In order to prepare for launch, post-launch test, and on-orbit operations, a rigorous mission planning scheme was developed to assure safe commanding of the flight system and monitoring of its state of health. This paper overviews the key mission operations approaches and philosophies developed for the GOES I-M missions and key operations tools that were developed to aid operations personnel in performing complex routine and special operations tasks.