Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Seaborn, CJ, Improving colliery performance through one big team, many teams or .....???, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 23-32.


A cry that is often heard from front-line employees, particularly as a mine grows or circumstances change is "We used to be one big team but now they have set up teams for different functions - we don't know what's going on and we don't share resources any more. We used to just get in and do what had to be done, now we can't." It usually occurs after management decides that, with the increasing mine complexity, functions and accountabilities of a manageable size need to be identified and defined for individuals and teams to facilitate optimum performance. However, as the statement indicates, these changes have often not delivered all the intended benefits. This paper will explore the reasons why the full benefits have not been realised and will identify actions which can be taken to improve the likelihood of optimal outcomes.