30 in 30 Podcast

Where we capture 30 years of mining experience in 30 minutes

Lifting People up to a Common Goal

Guest: Richard Blayden
Nov 11, 2020 | 44 min to Listen

Our guest today has quite a few more than 30 years experience under his belt. Recognised as the father of the pipeline model for understanding work management, Richard Blayden was the first to put together a detailed framework for operational readiness processes. His developments have become the standard reference point for many of us in the industry.

Starting out his career as a young apprentice, Richard went back to study engineering and progressed into project management. With a broad range of knowledge and depth of experience, he provides asset management and organisational performance improvement services to the mining industry and other industries.

In this episode, Richard shares from his years of experience and how and why he came to develop the pipeline model. Having been involved in maintenance and project management from early days, he found that a lot of issues on site were due to a lack of information, communication and poor data analysis. Richard discusses common issues on site and how the pipeline model helps to lift people up to a common goal rather than dwelling on their personal thoughts about a particular issue.

Richard discusses his involvement in the BHP maintenance evaluation in the early days and the three key issues that were discovered from that process. He shares his thoughts on why people aren’t good at data analysis, how a character string analysis identified an issue that was costing millions of dollars every year and how identifying and implementing the right process helped to fix it.

Some Topics That We Cover

  • [2:00]: Richard gives an overview of his career from starting out in an apprenticeship, moving into engineering, project management
  • [3:30]: How Richard formed a completely integrated commercial engineering project management system within 6 months at a company that previously had very out of date information
  • [5:00]: Richard says the most credible thing in his career history is that he’s never been a maintenance manager
  • [6:13]: Richard’s breadth of knowledge in that he was able to code databases as well as developing systems that were focussed on communicating at a human level
  • [7:30]: How 100 BHP evaluations showed that all the sites had spent a lot of time implementing maintenance management systems but three areas didn’t score well –
    Work management processes
    Recording maintenance history and analysing to drive improvement
  • [9:30]: The importance of understanding why work pops up at short notice which means people need to be good at data analysis. Richard discusses potential reasons people struggle.
  • [11:25]: There is a perception that data is not good. Using the data that you have drives the data to become better.
  • [13:15]: How very useful data can be found by doing a character string analysis of notifications.
  • [15:30]: The idea of the pipeline model was to create common understanding of a model at the top, placing work management steps into logical process, managing the flow of work through the system as opposed to getting one job done
  • [16:40]: How Richard found using the model very fruitful to get people to think through all the different parts of the process
  • [18:00]: By calculating and graphing the work order life in days, Richard has discovered insights on planning and scheduling and how the systems needed improvement
  • [20:20]: The big learning curve Richard experienced while providing a feedback presentation
  • [22:55]: How Richard’s experience on site led him to discover common issues with engineers, plant management, lack of information and handover integrity which was the catalyst for the development of the pipeline model
  • [26:00]: New projects can take years to reach their designated production levels which is an indication of the disconnect between design stage and the end user