Introduction to Change Readiness

In the last installments of the Mine Digitization and Automation series, we looked at the four types of Digital Transformation, because it is important that you know what you want to achieve before any decisions are made about what shape your efforts should take, where they may occur, who will do it, etc.

With this information in hand, if you want to change, say, a process, you can now find the tech solution, and go for it, right?  Well…perhaps there are other things to consider, like, is your organization truly ready to take on a significant change at this moment? Do you have buy-in from senior levels to see the transformation through. Do you have the infrastructure required? Are you operating in an environment where your people are ready and capable of adopting new technology?

GroundHog: Introduction to Change Readiness
GroundHog: Introduction to Change Readiness

Change management principles and sound communication are necessary – and highly effective – when applied at the very beginning of your digital adoption journey, and systematically through all of its phases, which we will outline in coming discussions. But beginning to manage your anticipated transformation through effective change management should begin long before the project phase.

Bottom line? It is highly unlikely you will successfully implement digital technology and manage the impacts of transforming your mine without a plan for how you will manage all aspects of the change, from the specific project to the tech itself, the impacts on other stakeholders, and most importantly, on the people expected to do the work, day to day.

So – are you ready? And how will you know?

Here is where we introduce a mantra you have likely heard – People. Process. Technology. 

For a successful implementation, a deep understanding of the human reaction to change is required. 

Yes, you will want a data driven model for software adoption. And, of course, the right tool for your mine. But this is where the people side of change truly becomes a focus, and where sound change management principles and thorough assessments become of the utmost importance in driving data informed decisions and techniques.

Change management relies on intelligence gathering, and a good change management consultant is not unlike a detective, asking the right questions at the right time can help avoid a lot of wasted effort and resources. There are some key questions you can ask, but an objective third-party view is recommended to ensure the information that will guide you forward is sound. 

At the 10,000ft level, there are two key things that need to be assessed. One is the change itself – scope, depth and overall size of the change. What is its impact? Knowing this is essential planning your change strategy.

The second assessment acknowledges that every organization has unique characteristics that make change management either easy or challenging. Understanding these organizational attributes enables you to educate your team and sponsors about potential risks and create a plan that allows you to methodically address them. 

Your solution is more than a question of tech, with goals that go beyond ROI – ensuring adoption of your digital transformation efforts will dictate whether your investment remains in use, or is wasted and shelved, an outcome that is, for a host of reasons, all too common in industry.

It doesn’t have to be that way, and we’ll discuss how you can avoid this next week.


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