I remember reading the mining magazines when BHP and Rio Tinto started operating mines remotely from Perth in Australia, now more than 10 years ago. The motivations were similar to petrochemicals remote operations centers (ROCs), already common at that time: fewer personnel exposed to hazardous situations, better reaction to tactical production issues and emergency situations, more efficient and reliable operations, better production throughput and better, more collaborative strategic decisions. I was fascinated by the technology – real-time production visibility, first driverless trucks!
A few years after, my colleagues and me were “boots on the ground” in the North of Canada, working on a similar Integrated Remote Operations Center (IROC) project. Together with the customer, we co-created a new software that allowed moving their mining operation to Montreal (described in my previous blog “Ending analysis paralysis with agile digital partnerships”). As early adopters, we knew the importance of gaining people commitment, the process and behavior changes necessary for successful collaboration between on-site and off-site teams.
Looking back over the past years, there are hundreds of lessons that we have learned from running collaborative workshops, developing transformation strategies, and bringing remote operations centers to life all around the world together with partners. I have picked a few of these lessons to share with you in the hope that they may be of use not only for the mining industry, but for any other company with an interest in ROC / IROC concept. As a chance to re-imagine the way you operate.