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RFIDJournal Live Keynote Orlando 2010
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RFIDJournal Live Keynote Orlando 2010


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Keynote presentation called "Bombardier Runs a Smarter (and Safer) Railroad with RFID". Provided at RFIDJournal LIVE Conference in Orlando, FL on April 16, 2010.

Keynote presentation called "Bombardier Runs a Smarter (and Safer) Railroad with RFID". Provided at RFIDJournal LIVE Conference in Orlando, FL on April 16, 2010.

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  • 1.  
  • 2. A Smarter (and Safer) Railroad with RFID Keith Sheardown General Manager – Technology Solutions Bombardier Transportation
  • 3. About Bombardier
    • Head Office in Montréal
    • Workforce of 60,000 people in 22 countries with revenues of $19B
    • #1 in passenger rail equipment – #3 in civil aircraft
  • 4. Innovating Since 1942
  • 5. Global Leader in Passenger Rail Equipment
  • 6. Passenger Rail Services
  • 7. Our RFID Journey
    • It started with a problem to solve
    • RFID Journal LIVE Canada 2007 – Eureka…Problem Solved!
    • Ready to Spend – Got Cold Feet
    • Went back to School
    • Sketching the User Experience
  • 8. The Disclaimer
    • This is based on one person’s experience
    • We do not have all the answers – we are still learning
    • This about the design process and not about the technology
    • We have failed often – but we have failed early!
  • 9. A Problem Worth Solving
    • Track inspections conducted every 72 hours - primarily during daylight
    • No viable technology currently
    • Heavy reliance on rules and training
    • Track workers are in harms way every day they go to work
    • Number 1 on the list of Top 10 Rail Safety Action Priorities – Federal Transit Administration
    • Source: FTA, Rail Transit Safety Quarterly Newsletter, fall 2008, “Safety Action Plan”
  • 10. Where’s the Money?
    • I.T. Budget – replacing “Legacy Systems”
    • R+D – about the product
    • Investment must come from the Business
      • The business must know their problems
      • The business must lead the strategy, the investment and the project
  • 11. RFID is Homeless!
      • RFID is ubiquitous yet it is not clear in many organizations where leadership for RFID development should reside
  • 12. Who gets the Money?
    • The investment with the best…
    • R.O.I.
    • … unless it becomes competitive advantage, or a strategic imperative
  • 13. Innovation at Bombardier
    • Grow Services Business
    • Launched an innovation incubator in 2008 – Technology Solutions
    • Our mandate – to help our Customers run a better railroad
    • We solve problems and develop integrated solutions for passenger rail agencies
  • 14. RFID Journal LIVE - 2007
    • Attended presentation on Ultra Wide Band (UWB) RFID deployment at BP
    • Designed to locate refinery workers in real time
    • Retained Consultant to develop solution to protect track workers – problem solved!
  • 15. Ready to Spend
    • Was convinced that UWB was the solution
      • very precise location capabilities
    • Stopped looking at the problem and alternative designs
      • it was all about implementing UWB RFID
    • Market urgency dropped off – needed a client to work with
    • Got cold feet – we did not know enough about the stakeholders or their needs
  • 16. “ When you come to a fork in the road, take it” Yogi Berra
  • 17. Went Back to School
    • We needed to re-focus on the problem and explore design alternatives
    • Found some smart friends – and a client with strong interest
    • M.I.T. to McMaster University
    • McMaster was appointed Technology Partner
    • Ontario Centers of Excellence provided grant to match our investment
  • 18. … and then Back to the Problem
    • “ People lie – their actions don’t”
    Richard Hilleman Chief Creative Director - Electronic Arts (EA Sports)
  • 19. “ Sketching” the User Experience
    • Interviewed more than 60 stakeholders
      • walked many miles in their shoes (and boots!)
    • Hired an expert in “Human Factors”
    • Documented all user requirements
    • Immersed ourselves into the social and cultural issues
    • Simulated all major fatalities from the past ten years
  • 20. “ Sketching” the User Experience
  • 21. “ Sketching” the User Experience
  • 22. “ Sketching” the User Experience
  • 23. What We Learned
    • Procedures and training were believed to be enough
      • In reality the Stakeholders needs were not well understood by others
    • We needed to gain the trust of the people that we were trying to help
    • Industry experience was not shared well
    • We found more value than initially thought
    • We didn’t know what we didn’t know!
  • 24.
    • Sketching User Experiences
    • Bill Buxton
      • Sketching is about asking questions
      • Prototyping is about offering suggestions
  • 25. Sketching the User Experience
    • Two very common myths about designing solutions
      • 1: That we know what we want at the start of a project, and
      • 2: That we know enough to start building it
    • Bill Buxton
  • 26. Our Old Model for Design
  • 27. The New Model (Thanks to Buxton)
  • 28. Sketching the User Experience
    • “ The things we have to learn before we do them, we learn by doing them”
    • Aristotle
    • The trick is do them early, invest smartly and learn quickly!
  • 29. What our Future Looks Like
    • We can locate where people and trains are with relative ease – our focus is what to do with this knowledge
    • Refining the user experience will never end
    • We expect that our solution will be a hybrid
    • The User Interface will get the bulk of our resources, and where the real gold is
    • We expect to be leveraging our newfound asset “visibility” into other value propositions
  • 30. RFID Innovation & The Organization
    • Look for catalysts and change agents first
      • figure out where the empire should be built secondly
    • Staff with people that know your “customer” intimately
    • Create accountability for innovation
    • Demand an ROI but look for Competitive Advantage
    • Accept early failures
    • “ Sketch twice – Build once”
  • 31. Can’t Afford to get the design right?
    • But we can pay for the additional costs of major redesigns, or being late on a contract, or fixing bugs, or losing a Customer, or paying for additional support staff for “X” years until we get the design right
  • 32. No Money?
    • Look for partners
      • “ Customers”, Universities, Colleges, government programs, trade groups
    • “ Sketch” the Experience
    • Buy the book / Visit Youtube
  • 33. A Final Word to RFID Users
    • Know what problem you are trying to fix
    • Don’t expect any technology to fix business problems on it’s own
    • Dream Big but start small – get a few small wins
    • Involve your people – manage change like your life depends on it
    • Find champions throughout your organization – educate and inform them on the possibilities
    • Create an incubator of innovation
  • 34. A Final Word to RFID Developers
    • Put your CUSTOMER at the center of your strategy – not your Competitors and not your technology
      • Know your Customer better than they know themselves
      • It is all about improving business performance
    • Solve one or two problems extremely well
      • As opposed to “casting a line” in five market verticals
    • Educate and Inform – Think like Roberti
      • Travel without brochures – share your knowledge
      • Visit – often!
  • 35. It’s About the Visibility into your Business
    • “ Perhaps the single most important thing that RFID does for business is to provide visibility into areas of operations not visible previously ”
    • Mark Roberti
    • Editorial Jan / Feb Issue – RFID Journal
  • 36.
    • Fail early. Fail often. Learn.
    As you Start (or Continue) your RFID Journey
  • 37. More info at Keith Sheardown  647.284.9300  [email_address]