Mining Projects, the Three Cs & Design Thinking (Part 1)

PMI North Saskatchewan Chapter

Karen's career has taken her through various roles within the extractives industry, with a heavy focus on managing and executing projects involving the characterization and mitigation of environmental risks and opportunities. She offers strategic direction, consulting, training and implementation services in the realms of embedding sustainability goals and environmental assessment requirements into business operations, strategic plans, decision making processes, and project plans and execution.

I had an interesting inquiry from a project manager about the mining industry the other day. It happened when I was researching about design thinking.

This is how it went:

“Mind if I ask you something about your industry? For some reason, I see the mining/natural resources field as a lot of ‘burly guys.’ They may be a tough audience for design thinking. Perhaps I am wrong. Please enlighten me."

My first response, of course, was a smile and chuckle to myself, because who hasn’t met a “burly guy” in the mining sector? In fact, the term made me think of a number of “burly guys” that I worked with throughout the years of my career in this sector.

But I had to give an appropriate response. And so I went on to explain the complexity, the extended life, the multiple stages and all of the people that become involved with mining and natural resource developments over the years. 

And then I admitted that, yes, of course you may run into some “burly guys” in the sector (as there are in almost every industrial sector!). And although those “burly guys” may look rough on the outside, they are a broadly diverse bunch who are generally caring, wise, experienced and very knowledgeable. Add to that the large amounts of time spent in remote—and sometimes pretty tough—conditions, …

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