Saturday, 21 March 2009
This case history comes from the mining industry in South Africa. We were engaged by a client with a large open cast mine, which was planning to go underground.
Underground mining is a difficult, dangerous and expensive business, with many challenges. However this was not the only underground mine in the company, and the other mines have faced the same challenges and addressed the same issues. Two of the key issues which are common to the mines are Block Caving (a particular technique for extracting rock from the underground) and Earth Moving Equipment. The mine was considering a major investment in Earth Moving equipment, but before they went ahead, they wanted to access the knowledge and experience of the other mines. We were acting for them as knowledge management consultants at the time.
They decided to access this knowledge through a peer assist, and engaged us to help plan and facilitate the event. The process we used was a four step process - the host mine describing the challenges they faced, the visiting peers describing the solutions they have used in the past, a series of dialogue sessions where people broke into small groups to discuss the issues, and then a final session where the attendees came back to the larger group with feedback and recommendations.
According to the knowledge manager at the mine, the Peer Assist has delivered in the order of 80 million Rand in value, in terms of improving their ordering and operating process for Earth Moving Equipment
Photo from Flickr creative commons, by Alarch