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Using task analysis to inform the development and evaluation of new technologies

posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Janette Rose, Christopher BearmanChristopher Bearman, Anjum NaweedAnjum Naweed
The increasing introduction of technology into the rail industry has the potential to improve safety and efficiency, however, introducing technology is not without risk and not all technology provides its promised benefits. It is essential, therefore, to thoroughly evaluate a new technology from the perspective of applicability and safety, to ensure that the technology will do what it purports to do and will not create safety risks. One of the steps in this evaluation process is the construction of a task analysis. Task analysis is a way of conceptualising the tasks that must be completed for a person to be able to perform a given activity. This conceptualisation of the task allows the analyst to closely examine the components of a given activity, consider whether any improvements can be made, and assess the impact of any changes to that activity. Task analysis may be thought of as a method of obtaining user feedback since its construction relies on the input of users, and the results of its application to evaluate a technology should be discussed with both users and experts to ensure that the analysis is accurate.Task analysis has been used extensively in many industries such as aviation, air traffic control, automotive, product design and military operations (Liljegren, 2006; Stanton, Salmon, Walker, Baber and Jenkins, 2005) and although not as widely used in the rail industry, it has been employed for a variety of different purposes (Tichon, 2007), some of which will be discussed in this chapter.


Category 4 - CRC Research Income



Bearman C; Naweed A; Dorrian J; Rose J; Dawson D

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Place of Publication

United Kingdom

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Appleton Institute for Behavioural Sciences; Not affiliated to a Research Institute; University of South Australia;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

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