Conquering an Insurmountable Task

“There is only one way to eat an Elephant”

This is a great way to describe an insurmountable task. The answer is “one bite at a time.”

This speaks to breaking down the problem or goal into smaller, individual tasks that will have a cumulative effect. In mining, saying we want to increase production is the proverbial “elephant”. Knowing how to divide up our “bites” or tasks is where it gets complicated.

Some mine sites understand the critical drivers of performance, yet they still struggle to make improvements. This can often be attributed to normalizing deviance, an indicator of which is the phrase “We used to have high standards.” Other times there is a lack of fundamental understanding of the process, such as putting too many resources into improving production metrics that have a small return. When improvement actions aren’t progressing, or solutions seem to be out of reach, perhaps it’s necessary to bring in fresh eyes to see the problem from a different angle.

As mining optimization consultants and experts, we help solve production issues and organize tasks to take the right “bites”. Our Performance Management Tools and seasoned team of individual real-world mining professionals with over 15 years of experience bring the right solutions to get your mining improvement programs chewing on that elephant.

Our dedicated Outliers Mining Solutions team supports improvements by:

  • Identifying key performance metrics from the mine site that drive mine performance.

  • Implementing a Visual Management meeting, where we provide a structured process to track and monitor the progress of the chosen KPIs. Actions can be developed and shared across crews, and changes in performance clearly followed over several days and weeks. Additionally, the meeting provides an area to celebrate successes when improvements are realized, celebrating the success of the work down.

  • Providing dispatcher in-seat coaching, which educates and empowers employees to understand what drives performance and how to impact changes. This coaching covers the basics of the fleet management software and becomes a partnership on-site that helps make it specific to the daily challenges. Outlier’s presence on-site allows us to show how each little “bite” can have a cumulative effect on the day’s production.

  • Educating mine site front-line leadership through OMS LEAD, where they are introduced to data-driven decisions regarding mine performance and best practices for leadership in the mining industry, delivered by former leaders with deep knowledge and experience. With their site’s knowledge, front-line leaders learn to act on trends, empowering them to perform efficiently and effectively to drive the behavioural changes needed to improve mining performance.

  • Developing standard operating scenarios using our playbook program compiles all the best practices of your site and gives a trigger action response plan for different mine performance or troubleshooting scenarios. This helps identify site best practices and creates a process map of how they are implemented and supports sustainability of improvements.

  • Implementing our short interval control tool gives access to comprehensive, near real-time information on key production metrics and indicators, allowing leaders to track their shifts’ progress and see their actions impact in real-time.

With the full range of Outliers Mining Solutions’ tools and programs, our team helps mine sites break down the mining process and drive engagement to influence performance, optimization, and results.

With actionable strategies backed by data, the improvement process can be tracked to ensure the new status quo remains and, more importantly, becomes sustainable in the mining environment.

No longer does site performance have to be the overwhelming elephant in the room. Instead, it becomes a process of small actions (bites) that lead to achievable results.


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