Graham Seeley, Sydney Trains - Using Cardboard and Paper to Optimise Future Control Room Design


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Graham Seeley, SEQR Human Factors Specialist, NSW Transport Sydney Trains delivered this presentation at the 2nd Annual Control Room Design & Operations Conference.

This conference provided insights into streamlining operations, optimising efficiency & managing costs in your control room facilities, through effective design and operations.

For more information, visit

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Graham Seeley, Sydney Trains - Using Cardboard and Paper to Optimise Future Control Room Design

  1. 1. 1 Commercial in ConfidenceCommercial in Confidence Using Cardboard and Paper to Optimise Future Control Room Design A Sydney Trains HF Case Study Graham Seeley March 2014
  2. 2. 2 Commercial in Confidence Overview • Case Study: The Infrastructure Control Centre (ICON) project –  A maintenance directorate incident response centre –  Objectives and challenges • Developing the Control Room design concept –  Human Factors Integration; including design mock-up –  Engaging end users –  A new approach to shared overview displays –  Demonstrating value-added through Human Factors Integration (HFI) • Lessons learnt for future projects
  3. 3. 3 Commercial in Confidence “…a 1975 film directed by Edward Dmytryk” – Google “Something to do with chairs?” – ANON But first; What is Human Factors? Human Factors Integration People Physical Size Characteristics Background Attitudes Values Organisation Leadership Culture Work Patterns Communication Training Job Design of Equipment Rules and Procedures Tools Signage Environment •  Primarily a combination of Psychology and Ergonomics •  Seeking to provide a good fit between people and systems •  A multidiscipline, scientific approach to the optimisation of human performance at work
  4. 4. 4 Commercial in Confidence Background to this Case Study •  Historically there were separate 24/7 maintenance operations centres for different asset groups •  Limited visibility of each other’s operations, making incident coordination difficult •  Aim: to improve incident-response and fault-management: –  A single point of contact –  Improved customer and stakeholder management –  Efficient response, analysis and resolution times for complex inter-related faults –  Efficient management of field-resources –  Clear accountability and reporting
  5. 5. 5 Commercial in Confidence Designing the Infrastructure Control Centre • Challenges during project-delivery –  Environment of wide-reaching Reforms –  Short timescales –  Different, isolated operational teams –  Design trade-offs inevitable • Infrastructure, Technology and Process impacts • Most importantly, a People and Change project…
  6. 6. 6 Commercial in Confidence Initial workshop issues captured Open-plan noise and distraction Management interruptions Room layout Desk design Inadequate Storage space Lack of “defensible space” Error potential in critical-tasks Communication flows Workstation layouts Network Overview displays Environmental design Alarm-conflict Accessibility and circulation Protocols Conflicting design requirements End-user concerns Human Factors issues Resistance to change & Acceptance-risk
  7. 7. 7 Commercial in Confidence Conflicting Requirements 2 5 4 1 1.  Large overview display from existing facility 2.  Raised platform 3.  Tall desk partitions 4.  Awkward circulation space 5.  Standing-height workstations 3
  8. 8. 8 Commercial in Confidence Creating a design mock-up •  Mock-ups / prototypes can be used iteratively, to give confidence in design •  Allow stakeholders to visualise a design –  Low cost, high value –  Intuitive reviews, unlike 2D designs –  Identify issues and support integration –  Optimise design prior to construction, avoiding re-work •  Mock-up/ prototype detail should be commensurate with the risks or issues involved
  9. 9. 9 Commercial in Confidence Benefits of the mock-up exercise • Cardboard and tape - $400 • Two willing graduate interns • 7 days to build a mock-up –  Electrical Operations Centre –  ICON workstations –  Alternate Overview designs • Managing project risks and optimising the design
  10. 10. 10 Commercial in Confidence Building the mock-up
  11. 11. 11 Commercial in Confidence Benefits of the mock-up exercise • The mock-up began attracting attention • Became a meeting point to resolve issues • Trade-offs and conflicts were resolved • Gradually began to establish user buy-in
  12. 12. 12 Commercial in Confidence HF Requirements - Overview Displays
  13. 13. 13 Commercial in Confidence An alternative Overview concept …combined with a suspended off- workstation LCD display concept A more usable LCD overview, with screens and information suited to the room size…
  14. 14. 14 Commercial in Confidence An alternative Overview concept Off-workstation reference display; Safe and comfortable interaction; Optimising legibility and visual field.
  15. 15. 15 Commercial in Confidence Change-management activities • Integrated workshops/ meetings • Field trip to review similar facilities in operation –  Visit to Public Transport Authority, BHP, and Rio Tinto in Perth –  Short, medium and longer-term recommendations –  Further team building • Stakeholder input to other HF and risk management activities –  Human Error Assessment workshops –  Post-commissioning follow-up reviews
  16. 16. 16 Commercial in Confidence Video
  17. 17. 17 Commercial in Confidence Value added through HF Integration • Confidence in design concepts • Supporting delivery on schedule • Improving operational efficiency, communication and team-working • Assuring staff safety, health and wellbeing • Whole-life technology cost savings ~ $200k
  18. 18. 18 Commercial in Confidence Lessons learnt from this Case Study • Early Integration of Human Factors –  Most effective from the concept phase –  Engaging stakeholders and managing requirements –  Value-added for project and whole asset-lifecycle • Post-commissioning issues –  Managing degraded modes • User-centred, rather than technology-centred
  19. 19. 19 Commercial in Confidence