Composite Performance framework (CPF) Application
Discussion and conclusions
Table of Contents
The scope of this dissertation is;
- To diagnose issues within a division, project or company within the mining and allied industries.
- To give guidelines on assessing the nature of the issues.
- To provide guidelines on corrective actions for those perceived issues.
- To take steps to prevent it from reoccurring.
- To embrace continuous improvement in all aspects of the operations and where possible to extend this continuous improvement to employees’ personal lives.
This research has limitations, in that the research of literature is taken from all over the world with much of the literature coming from the USA, and the heuristic component is harvested through local Australian and Africa experience. Whilst these limitations are not all encompassing, they are nonetheless limitations.
A research dissertations such as this:
- Does not guarantee outcomes
- Only addresses identified issues
- Does not guarantee access to replacement of personnel
- Does not guarantee Management driven solutions
- Does not instantly cure a culture that may be weak
- Works within the confines of the operational dynamics of that site
- Research done mostly on coal mines and associated industries
This dissertation is based on the application and implementation of the Composite Performance framework (CPF). This research is derived from the experience of this researcher and is harvested from the mining and related industries. The outcomes of this research are intended to benefit the mining industries in its future endeavours, especially management at all levels. Appendix E demonstrates the application of the CPF.
Chapter 6 introduced case studies using the CPF and these chapters will introduce the implementation of the composite performance framework (CPF) as well as managerial practices within the mining industry in more detail. This current chapter will address some issues as they are seen by this researcher and methodologies to restrain them.
The nature of the mining industry calls for a different and in some cases a unique set of managerial skills and tools, such as a succession and training plans, due to the high attrition rates, discussed in earlier chapters of this dissertation.
As demonstrated in Ch 6, management is not a passive function, but rather an ongoing active and proactive function. Ignoring issues and not dealing with them in a prompt and decisive manner will cause issues to morph into potentially larger issues that could be even more difficult to resolve. This dissertation has focused on implementing change in the mining industry. Change merely for the sake of change, and change without gain are of no benefit to the organisation. By the same token; the absence of change is static, and will not help a company progress or take advantage of new technology and possibilities. All change to be implemented must be evaluated to assess the change that will benefit the organisation. As mentioned in Ch 2 of this dissertation, it is not good enough to do things correctly; the correct factors need to be established, and they must be implemented correctly.
Management and planned change must be programmed according to the changing and growing objectives of the organisation and its people. All changes must be able to be measured, and based on the continuous improvement philosophy; must show measured change, on track and in accordance with the scheduled objectives of the company or operations.
Previous chapters of this dissertation raise various issues within the mining industry including aspects and issues within the management of the mining industry. The mining industry has taken steps to resolve some managerial issues in the mining industry and to this end have introduced some training courses which are mandatory for anyone that will supervise another mine worker in any way. Any intended change must be preceded by a operational process plan, a basic idea of what a broad operational process will look like, when implementing change in accordance with the CPF philosophy.
RQ1: What are the elements of a framework that can be used to address mine operational problems and issues?
In answer to RQ1 this researcher is convinced that all five aspects of the CPF are valid frames to re-engineer a company or organisation within the mining or allied industries. The five elements can be seen in chapter 4 and also within the case studies presented in chapter 6. The five elements of the CPF were developed to cover all aspects of change management and to be flexible and to deliver sustainable change by way of the continuous cycle of assessment.
RQ2: What are the appropriate strategies to initially identify mining operational problems and issues?
In answer to RQ2 this researcher states, that by assessing the operation to be re-engineered the manager assigned to implement change, will be made aware of problems and issues within that organisation. His role is to find areas where change will be rejected and how to best deal with that situation as and when it arises. Communication is vital at all stages of the change implementation process. Chapter 4 and the case studies in chapter 6 demonstrate this effectively.
RQ3: What is the efficacy of the CPF in mining operations?
In answer to RQ3, this researcher is comfortable that the CPF is a highly efficacious tool to re-engineer organisations within the mining industry. Chapter 6 of this dissertation
When projects are conceived, they are costed out and a cost is assessed. This cost is invariably a budget cost to complete the project. The next stage is to assess whether that cost can be negotiated down and cost savings to be sought. This is usually done by value improvement processes. This stage is commonly known as a value improvement process (VIP), and assembles a team of experienced managers within the field at assess each cost and see where savings can be gained.
A normal project function with any large project in the mining industry is that of Value Improvement Process (VIP); Value Engineering (VE) forms a part of VIP Process. Value Engineering is a methodology where the best possible engineering or process practices are employed to gain a value advantage to ensure that the project remains viable. This is initially achieved by a VIP project using a series of workshops, usually facilitated by an independent facilitator.
The primary objective of a VIP project it to gain cost reductions, without losing value or functionality project wide, in order to reduce costs and improve the net present value (NPV) as well as improve operating costs into the future.
This researcher uses a number of specific strategies when implementing the CPF. These are briefly considered:
- Brain storming. This is used in group situations with relevant team members as well as the VIP team.
- Identification of local champions. Local champions are usually selected in conjunction with supervisors and management meetings, and team leaders that know the team structure better. Identification of local champions s detailed below.
As with so many professionals; in developing a VIP project, the VIP project manager will discover that professional single mindedness prevails and can cost the project dearly if not handled correctly.
In order to address the above, this researcher in using the CPF uses the workshops as an idea generation methodology. In short it is a Brainstorming exercise. This researcher considers that the usual form of Brainstorming is counter-productive rather than conducive to the idea generation. This is because of some team members that may be experienced but silent during the brain storing sessions. This researcher will introduce a more beneficial manner of generating ideas and concepts in section 7.5 of this chapter. The objective is more than to generate ideas; it is to generate the best quality of new ideas.
Another area of integration effectiveness can be derived from self-managed work teams. Of equal importance is the need for local champions (normally leading hands or supervisors) among current work teams…they become information gatherers and disseminators, coaches and mentors, teachers, consultants and facilitators.
Identification of local champions
Local ‘champions’ at times, are just one of the team members. However, they are crucial because they are usually respected and their peers carefully consider their views. Local champions in the mining industry are quite often the ‘Leading Hands’ or the Supervisors. When placing champions in work teams, through positive problem solving and conflict management strategies, they may help various group representatives to confront existing conflict. It is the conviction of this researcher that the Leading Hands and Supervisors are the quintessential managers on a mine site or mining project.
Enhance / promote problem solving behaviour
The effectiveness of each organisation in achieving integration or administering change management programmes is directly related to the extent that its members rely on problem-solving behaviour to resolve conflicts.
In order to implement problem-solving behaviour and at the same time establish commitment to work teams, ‘champions’ need to be competent in their:
• skills in human interaction
• ability to form quick and functional relationships
• deciding priorities among goals
• ensuring decisions are fair and equitable
Some of the conditions, which foster integration within an organisation, are:
• external communications
• internal communications
• team training and team learning
Team work is when a team works in harmony with each other to reach certain goals and objectives for the company, but also to a lesser degree for each member of that team. During the implementation process of change it is critical that teams work together with each member as well as other teams and management.
- Meet regularly with teams and discuss the planned as well as completed organisational changes and what outcomes are expected.
- Recognise that teams will understand that you may not have the answers to everything, but it is important for them to feel the communication is candid.
- Regularly communicate agreed goals and the vision of the new situation
- Encourage teams to discuss fears and concerns in teams
- Open ‘suggestion boxes’ for employees to raise questions in anonymity
- Whenever possible, assign roles and responsibilities in line with team’s interests
- Obtain individual team member buy-in
- Obtain commitment from the team members to the change
- Minimise any resistance that is suspected
- Reduce team anxiety
- Ensure total clarity of objectives
- Share the information and the goals
- Challenge the current situation and allow the team members to do the same
- Obtain clarity from the senior management as well as the team members
- Minimise uncertainty