Last updated 26 July, 2023

From delays to efficiency: enhancing mining operations through coaching

“More than four out of five mining projects come in late and over budget, by an average of 43 percent.” – McKinsey & Company

The mining industry faces numerous challenges when it comes to operational delays, which can significantly impact productivity and profitability. According to a McKinsey & Company report, more than four out of five mining projects come in late and over budget. This indicates a pressing need for solutions to offset delays and recover profitability. One effective approach that can address this issue is coaching. In this article, we will explore how coaching can improve mining productivity and delve into the four pillars of operational excellence. 

Operational delays in mining are often unavoidable due to internal and external factors. However, the consequences of these delays on productivity and profitability remain a persistent concern for decision-makers in the industry. To combat this issue, mining companies can implement coaching programs to enhance their operational effectiveness and mitigate the impact of delays. Coaching can play a vital role in improving mining productivity by focusing on the four pillars of operational excellence: people, processes, assets, and cash. 

1) People 

Effective coaching programs can develop strong leaders, enhance workforce capabilities, and improve employee well-being. By providing training and coaching opportunities, companies can optimise their human capital and drive operational excellence. 

2) Processes

Coaching can promote continuous improvement and streamline operational processes. By employing methodologies such as Lean, Six Sigma, and engineering principles, mining companies can eliminate waste, enhance efficiency, and improve productivity and quality. 

3) Assets

Maximising the value and performance of physical assets is crucial in mining. Through coaching, companies can optimise asset management, implement reliable maintenance practices, and ensure efficient parts and warehouse management. This leads to optimal utilisation and longevity of equipment and infrastructure. 

4) Cash

The cash pillar focuses on strategically transforming the business to generate sustainable revenue streams and enhance profitability. Coaching programs can assist in leveraging the full potential of the organisation, implementing marketing and sales initiatives, and effectively managing financial resources. 

Operational Excellence Programs

Implementing an operational excellence program supported by coaching requires overcoming certain challenges. However, with the right approach, these challenges can be effectively addressed: 

  • Alignment and commitment: Ensure that the leadership team is aligned on the vision and committed to its execution. 

  • Frontline engagement: Gain buy-in from frontline supervisors who play a crucial role in implementing changes and communicating the vision to their teams. 

  • Clear roadmap: Develop a clear roadmap with actionable and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals to guide the improvement program. 

  • A-team assignment: Assign high-performing individuals to the improvement program, particularly for pilot projects, to set the stage for success. 

  • Focus on value-added activities: Prioritise goals and eliminate distractions to keep the team focused on the objective of the program. 

  • Clear and frequent communication: Transparent and consistent communication at all levels is vital for change management. Leaders should keep employees informed, address concerns, and maintain alignment throughout the process. 

  • Training and reinforcement: Train the team, coach leaders, and reinforce expectations to embed a culture of continuous improvement. 

Advancing Productivity: The Influence of Coaching in Mining Success

Coaching programs offer a powerful framework to bridge the productivity gap in the mining industry. By focusing on the four pillars of operational excellence and addressing challenges through effective coaching, mining companies can enhance productivity, drive sustainable growth, and overcome the impact of operational delays. With a continuous improvement mindset and a commitment to coaching, the mining industry can thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Interested in improving your team’s productivity and unlocking their potential with coaching? Click here to book your free Hello Coach demo. 

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