Bill Oglesby, Director of Planning and Estimating
LEADER LETTERS — MARCH 2022
As we begin each day, it is our job to generate a plan for the day. This plan must consider numerous factors, including equipment and manpower availability, weather, work site conditions, production requirements, and the needs of our clients. During my 27 years working in the mining industry, I have collaborated with many great leaders that have been able to look at a project, and devise ways to optimize the work to best utilize the employees and equipment to complete the work on time, safely, and under budget.
To help with this planning, leaders have several tools and resources at their disposal they can use. This includes: the project schedule, a three-week look ahead schedule, the weekly manpower and equipment reports, as well as the previous daily/weekly cost and production tracking. Each of these assets builds on the others and gives us tools to measure what we have accomplished, what we can do better, and what we can achieve in the future. Over the next couple of months, I will explain how to better utilize these tools in your project planning and work activities.
One of the key learning opportunities (that is often overlooked) is the debrief that should take place at the end of the shift or activity. How often have we been working on our plan? Has something changed that caused “sh*t to hit the fan”? Did we rally the crew to solve the problem? If the problem is fixed and no one was hurt, all too quickly we often return to normal without taking the time to reflect and learn from the experience. When I complete a debrief, I use a simple form with five questions:
• What happened?
• What went right?
• What went wrong?
• Why did it go right/wrong?
• What lessons did we learn?
This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience on what we can do better as leaders to keep our heads up looking for opportunities to manage our work more productively and help each of our team members to go home safe each, and every day.
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