For a steady flow analysis, the HEC-RAS software is designed to continue its computations all the way through completion, even when the user has entered poor data. Because of this, the fact that the program executes a complete run does not necessarily mean that the results are good. The user must carefully review the results to ensure that they adequately represent the study reach and that they are reasonable and consistent. The HEC-RAS software is an engineering tool, it is by no means a replacement for sound engineering.

The HEC-RAS software contains several features to assist the user in the development of a model; debugging problems; and the review of results. These features include: built in data checking; an Errors, Warnings, and Notes system; and a computational Log Output file. In addition to these features, the user can use the graphical and tabular output to review the results and check the data for reasonableness and consistency.
Most of the information contained within this chapter is based on performing a steady flow analysis. Much of the information is also useful when performing an unsteady flow analysis. More assistance for solving unsteady flow stability problems can be found in Chapter 7 of this manual (Performing a 1D Unsteady Flow Analysis).