Overcoming Roadblocks to Create an Effective Training Plan

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Consider the formal evaluation of skills required by the position being trained and the quality of the program components.

A training plan is a form document that communicates to management and stakeholders the details of the proposed training program.

What should a training plan contain?

  • Motives and objectives
  • Curriculum
  • Requirements
  • Strategies
  • Schedules
  • Resources

Why Training Plans get Passed Over in Mining Organizations

Unfortunately, training programs are commonly seen as an avoidable cost, both in time and resources, especially when it comes to maintenance and reliability, which are commonly known for always needing to be ready for action.

By being aware of this roadblock, preparation for mitigating complaints is critical to the success of a training plan. 

Roadblocks and How to Overcome Them

Lack of Time

Planning for a technical team to be unavailable for work is one of the most significant complications.

Solution: prioritize training activities and allocate resources accordingly.  Schedule shorter, more frequent training sessions.

Poor Understanding of Maintenance and its Impact

Higher levels and other areas outside of maintenance can become overwhelmed by the technical jargon and maintenance tactics, making it hard to understand why training in specific areas would benefit the business.

Solution: Provide a clear and concise explanation of the importance of maintenance and its impact on equipment, production, and safety. Translate this into financial or economic consequences by train, system, sub-system, and individual equipment cost.

Lack of knowledge on How to Train

The world of maintenance and reliability is vast; topics range from high-level strategies to incredible specialized tasks.  Even maintenance experts are still surprised by new details, facts and technologies.

Solution: Hire a training consultant or invest in a training program to provide your team with the knowledge and skills they need to train others effectively.  Develop a mentoring program where experienced maintenance professionals can teach and coach new employees. 

Fear of Turnover

With a large majority of the workplace approaching retirement, the newer generations of workers come into the industry lacking the necessary skills and knowledge.  New workers are ideal candidates for training, but upper management may have concerns about the turnover rate of all workers. They fear training someone new who will not stay for long and leave for another job.

Solution: Invest in retention strategies (a 2020 TalentLyft study sponsored by the University of San Diego demonstrated that 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if there were an investment in learning).

Creating a Training Plan for your Mining Project

The first step is understanding why we need a training plan and what we want to achieve. Create a list of objectives and training needs.

Examples of Common Concerns and Pains

Area of Concern
Training Solution

Hydraulic system overloading


Excessive spare parts costs

Reliability-centered spares

Underqualified technicians

Maintenance basics

Excessive downtime

RCM, FMEA, Bad Actor Program

Automated production methods

Sensors, Data Management

Once we have a clear purpose and priorities that align with the business value, we can define the basis of the training plan.

To check on the quality of the program, good questions to ask are:

  • Does it help address the key areas and enhance them by providing value to individuals and the organization?
  • Does it focus on the abilities, hard skills, and knowledge needed to perform the job?
  • How many positions does it cover?
  • Are there other positions that were not covered that are needed to make a well-rounded program?

Outliers can help. We train for certainty and educate for uncertainty.

The Outliers Mining Solutions team prides itself in being nimble and typically takes a swat team approach to every engagement. We have expertise in using SAP as a user (Maintainer, Supervisor, Material Coordinator, Planner, Reliability, Superintendent, Manager) in SAP PM, MM, FI/CO. We also have a good understanding in SAP configuration, Master Data and Data Standards.


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