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The KPI conundrum – Part 2: Revolutionising KPIs in Mining through Focus on Leverage Point

In the previous post, "The KPI conundrum- Part 1: How performance metrics can undermine mining operations.", we explained how miners are under pressure to increase productivity and profits while grades decline and mines deepen. At the same time, social norms put pressure on attracting and retaining more diverse personnel and creating rewarding careers for all.

We often observe poor outcomes for all these imperatives when we push KPIs the traditional way.

In this post, we discuss a solution to this problem, one we have seen work well over decades. Note that it requires the integration of both soft and hard aspects of management science. The flow chart below shows how the components interact and the feedback loops (red) that intensify the outcomes needed.


A fundamental belief in the Theory of Constraints is that only a few critical leverage areas exist in any system, which significantly impacts the system's overall performance.

By creating a particular type of War Room (we call it a Flow Room), we can make the performance of these critical leverage points visible. This increased transparency fosters peer-to-peer accountability and allows employees and managers to foresee necessary actions while observing their efforts' effects on performance. In addition, this will encourage voluntary alignment and coordination among employees and department managers to support overall system performance.

As a result, managers can confidently delegate tasks, freeing up their time for other responsibilities.

We can ensure organisational efforts remain targeted and efficient by reducing the number of KPIs and focusing the remainder on the critical leverage points.

This new approach will also boost employee engagement, trust, and cooperation.

As psychological safety increases, employees and managers will engage in open dialogue to generate innovative solutions. This enables them to consistently identify and address systems issues from the bottom up, leading to substantial improvements in productivity and profitability.

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