Modernisation, as a driver of future productivity, growth, and safety, could have positive or negative effects on people. This study aimed to identify, through three case studies, how mechanisation and modernisation were implemented at different mines, to different extents, and with varying levels of success. The aim was to identify key people-related enablers and inhibitors in the process of modernisation. The project objective is to determine whether there are any common success or failure criteria related to the modernisation of mining operations.
Research and development
Current thinking was explored through a literature review on modernisation. The research team developed a structure for the decision support framework. An explanatory systems model and a final decision framework were also developed. The purpose of the explanatory systems model is to explain the interactions that influence people-related factors, and the decision framework serves as a guide to people-related actors in decision-making within the context of modernisation. The research team also conducted an in-depth case study and three shorter reflexive studies.
A baseline against which the modernisation process can be assessed was developed. This assists in determining progress against the decision framework elements that have been prioritised for implementation. The research team was able to map progress against selected parameters on the three axes: enterprises, people and technology.
From an enterprise perspective, processes; systems; and policies need to be conducive to modernisation. From a people perspective, the skills as well as the mindsets and culture need to be appropriate to the demands of a modernised environment. And finally, the technology needs to be ready for the environment: it should be conducive to improved work environments; easy to integrate; and should help rather than hinder work. To make the modernisation process work, consultation needs to be early and inclusive, and integrative design processes are required to ensure successful integration after the design period.
The literature review, initial and final framework have been completed. The in-depth case studies and reflexive cases are in progress.