Future Transport

Managing shifts for train crews

The Future Transport Innovation Incubator

The Future Transport Innovation Incubator was a twelve month program of incubation workshops developed and delivered through a partnership between Symplicit and Future Transport. The workshop program consisted of 2 week cycles of research and design activities that attempted to identify and solve real problems for Transport agencies by introducing agency team members to user centered design methodologies:

The 2 week sprint structure


Methodologies covered in the workshops included landscape reviews, customer interviews and contextual inquiries, current and ideal state mapping, persona development, problem definition and opportunity statements, sketching and storyboarding, concept prototyping and testing, roadmap planning and prioritisation, and design storytelling through a final showcase presented to potential agency sponsors:

Presenting research insights
Research outputs generated collaboratively

Understanding The Problem

Problems addressed by teams in the program covered a broad range of issues including policy creation, regional transport, knowledgement management, cross-team collaboration, project visibility, activity based working, delegations and many more.

A typical example of the types of problems examined was the following problem brought forward by Sydney Trains which related to crew rostering:

The starting problem statement for train crew rostering

Week 1 of the sprint saw the team I was leading try understand if this was in fact a problem to be solved through a process of landscape reviews, Subject Matter Expert interviews, crew interviews and observation days with rostering officers:

Understanding the rostering problem for train crews

Describing The Current State

This phase of discovery allowed the team to map out the key personas for train crew and rostering officers, their pain points, and the current state of their journey through the rostering process:

Describing personas
Describing the current state journey

Defining The Future Experience

The team recognised an opportunity to develop a solution strategy that would maximise visibility of shift preferences for crew and thereby minimise day of operations management for rostering officers. A future state journey map was developed around this strategy:

The redefined problem statement
Themes and objectives
The future state

Rapid ideation early in the second week resulted in the creation of prototypes for preference management tools and development of hypotheses that were then tested on train crew and rostering officers:

Establishing hyptheses for concept testing
Concept test results

Building a roadmap

Concept testing validated the hypotheses allowing the team to build a roadmap and business case for the development of tools to help crew and rostering officers manage shift preferences. At completion of the sprint, the research and solutions were showcased to potential sponsors for implementation of the project within Sydney Trains. The solution was then handed over to the Future Transport Lean Team for further refinement and implementation.

Roadmap for rollout and benefits to users and business