Leveraging an Integrated Platform to Enable a Learning Organization

July 27, 2017

“It’s great to be acknowledged for the engagement we have with Enablon, and that they take our input as valuable into developing the roadmap. It will encourage us to continue giving feedback going forward.”
Lizanne Gildenhuys, Principal S&SD Systems, Maintenance and Data Integrity at Anglo American, during the Enablon Excellence Awards ceremony at SPF EMEA 2017.

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” This Chinese proverb represents well the philosophy applied by Anglo American to prevent incidents and reduce operational risks. An organization that learns is a safer organization, but how do you effectively enable the “learning organization” when you’re a global mining giant with 37 mining operations and with over 90,000 employees and contractors. Anglo American understands that the challenge can only be addressed through an integrated and standardized EHS & Sustainability management system.

Enabling a Learning Organization by Overcoming Operational Challenges

For Anglo American, sharing information across the company enables a learning organization. To share information effectively, you have first to make sure that there is a single, reliable source of information. To establish a single source, Anglo American recognized that it had to overcome a set of operational challenges across business units, including:

  • Fragmented and duplicated data
  • Inconsistency in processes and definitions
  • Lack of data consolidation
  • Inconsistent data analysis
  • Language barriers across countries

All these challenges threaten data integrity and the ability to establish one source to obtain and share reliable information. For Anglo American the solution was an integrated, standardized system deployed across the company. The company had the additional foresight to understand that having a single platform was not enough. Another challenge consists of making sure that users interact with the system on a daily basis in order to provide real time data. If the software is difficult to understand and navigate then they will not work with the system. With every version upgrade that has been undertaken by Anglo American, the improvement on the user interface that comes with a new version is something that all end-users have benefited from.

Anglo American chose to implement the Enablon platform for EHS and Sustainability management. On June 15, 2017, Anglo American’s contribution to our community was honoured with the .  Lizanne Gildenhuys, Principle S&SD Systems, Maintenance and Data Integrity at Anglo American, accepted the award on behalf of the company. Let’s take a closer look at the ways in which Anglo American enables the learning organization.

Anglo American SPF EMEA 2017 AwardLizanne Gildenhuys, Principle S&SD Systems, Maintenance and Data Integrity, Anglo American

Establishing a Cycle of Continuous Learning

Sharing information is a critical element of the learning organization. First you need to establish a single version of the single, reliable source of information. By having an integrated platform as a single entry point across the company and all its business units, information is captured in a standardised manner and the same process is used for data entry throughout all operations. This leads to data integrity, and to common definitions on how information is classified and reported.

Today, more than 9,000 active users at Anglo American use Enablon in three languages (English, Spanish and Portuguese), both at the operational and supervisory levels. Users capture observations as part of a Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) program, enter incidents, complete action plans, conduct daily inspections (many required by regulation) and manage operational risks.

The proper capture of data to establish reliable source of information is only the start. The next steps consist of making sure that the information is used to learn, and implement action plans and recommendations. Anglo American’s philosophy is simple: if people have good access to information in a way that’s easy for them to digest and interpret, they will be more likely to start applying what is learned. For example, Enablon is used to capture SHE (safety, health and environment) incidents, including near misses. The information on incidents is used to create corrective and preventive action plans. The Enablon system then helps Anglo American track the completion of action plans to prevent the recurrence of incidents. This is especially useful if an incident occurred at a specific business unit, and lessons can be learned throughout the entire organization to prevent the same incident from occurring in other business units.

Using a Single Version of the Truth for Reporting

Improvements in reporting that give management the critical information needed to assess progress against corporate objectives is also achieved through a single, integrated platform. At Anglo American, internal and external reporting and management of KPIs are achieved through a single system. Enablon is the single source of truth and it is used as a platform for business units to benchmark against other.

At monthly management meetings, reports generated by Enablon are used to assess completion of action plans designed to reduce incidents. In addition, the platform supports the company’s operational risk management program by helping to monitor critical controls and give management an evaluation on whether controls are performing as they should. The system presents the information on critical controls through dashboards and reports, which allows managers to better interpret the information and take action if required. The Enablon platform helps Anglo American identify and monitor 6,100 critical controls, which, in combination with other company-wide initiatives and efforts, has contributed to reductions in the number of work fatalities.

Anglo American believes in sharing information throughout the organization…and beyond. The company takes an active part in the Enablon community by providing useful product feedback that benefits all our clients. Given that the company has shared valuable lessons with our community, especially at SPF conferences, we’re glad to have bestowed Anglo American the Enablon Excellence Award in User Community Engagement at SPF EMEA 2017.

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