Collaboration is crucial to the execution of mining and construction projects so, how can our state’s major industries ensure it’s being done well?
Collaboration is integral to the safety and success of major projects within Western Australia’s mining, mining services and construction industries.
From those at the coalface, to the people at the processing plant, to the transformation and logistics team and beyond to external stakeholders; communication and collaboration are involved across every step of the process.
Despite the importance of collaboration on project outcomes, traditional communication tools in the resources and construction industries tend to focus on facilitating only a subset of the collaborative process, rather than offering a wholistic solution.
Elements of project management including sharing documentation via email, inspection, audits and maintenance, incident and injury management, risk management, training, daily messaging, sharing financials, reporting and stakeholder communications all operate in silos.
According to Australian technology company HardHat’s chief executive officer Tim Smith, the traditional approach is to make these elements available to selected individuals and to communicate them across various platforms, causing the collaborative flow to be disjointed.
“It’s typical for each member of a project to have their own objectives and cultures, especially when contractors are involved,” Mr Smith said.
“However, encouraging a culture of collaboration through greater transparency and communication using modern tools can direct competing motives into one common goal,” he said.
“The sharing of risks as well as rewards, creating a sense of trust and strong relationships between team members can improve project delivery immensely.”
Mr Smith said most leaders were aware of the challenges of project information management and using channels like email or instant messaging apps,[LE1] where communications become heavily congested.
“It can become near impossible to find the information you’re looking for when needing to review the decision-making process and determine why you and your team landed where you landed.”
A wholistic solution
Given the powerful impacts of collaboration on the outcomes of projects and operations,
it makes sense for our state’s leading industries to embrace more wholistic digital tools that overcome the limitations of existing systems.
HardHat chief revenue officer David Sinclair said HardHat was such a tool, designed to foster cultures of strong teamwork and open communication.
It is a modern software solution designed to encourage collaboration by improving the sharing of and access to information across an organisation’s various departments and data streams.
“HardHat makes project collaboration easy by centralising relevant information and providing access to all interested parties, ensuring projects stay on track and within cost,” Mr Sinclair said.
“I’ve spoken with junior miners who say it sometimes takes them 10 days to get information they need to progress with a project.
“HardHat’s streamlined process helps to prevent the double and triple handling that currently takes place using paper-based systems or delayed reporting.”
Mr Sinclair said the software allowed managers to oversee the statuses of multiple projects simultaneously and understand where each of its contractors were at in terms of timelines and costs.
“Having the ability to go back to a client and report to them clearly on spending and time pressures is a great example of how HardHat’s central dashboard system improves communication across a project.”
With improved communication comes superior safety measures, too.
Mr Sinclair said the ability to prevent double handling and capture and share information in real-time ensured incident reporting was more efficient and effective.
“When it comes to incident reporting, HardHat allows for the person on-site to upload details of the incident instantly through its mobile application, pushing out notifications to the relevant people,” he said.
“Through HardHat incident forms can be customised as a digital document with each section a data point that is uploaded and filed accordingly.”
Strengthening relationships with stakeholders
According to HardHat executive consultant Noor Crookshanks, HardHat doesn’t just benefit internal collaboration across projects, it also allows for seamless communication with external stakeholders.
“From a stakeholder perspective, people are interested in the whole business process, whereas historically, prior to social media and mass information sharing across the internet, there was less of a demand for transparency,” Mr Crookshanks said.
“There is a growing need to provide more clarity and better-quality information to external stakeholders.
“Instead of waiting to upload quarterly or annual statements to the ASX or your company website with little knowledge of who is actually reading it, HardHat allows an organisation to cultivate relationships with its stakeholders and communicate directly to them via a digital portal.
“Whether that stakeholder group is a government body, community group or shareholder, it allows you to create targeted communications to each group and measure the response or engagement,” he said.
We believe the best businesses run as one. HardHat enables companies to manage information from one place so that teams can work safer, faster and smarter. The HardHat platform powers a connected enterprise by bringing together projects, clients, teams, safety and compliance all within a solution purpose-built for asset & project intensive industries.
Learn more about how HardHat can support project collaboration across your organisation at www.hardhat.com