Mining Projects, the Three Cs & Design Thinking (Part 2)

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.

In my last article, I introduced some complexities of mining projects, and my thoughts on how those impact the first of “The Three Cs of Success”—coordination. This article will continue to explore complications related to mining, communication and collaboration, and then end with a few suggestions on strategies that might help.

Communication is one of the most critical elements for any project. In mining, integrated with the issues of personnel turnover and project duration, are the following challenges:

  • Maintenance of the project scope/change record from start to finish, with all of its shifts and changes (as there always are), the reasons behind those various decisions, and all of the risks associated
  • Transfer, review and incorporation of information from past, to present, to future
  • Relevant barriers to communication, due to the remoteness of field activities in relation to design and/or corporate and regulatory entities
  • “Language” barriers with various stakeholders (both cultural and technical, as expanded further below)

Record keeping, review of past information, derivation of the most critical aspects and communication of those elements can make or break the success of a mine development. Missing the wrong things can introduce significant risks, causing excessive …

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