Chapter 1 - Human Factors and the TMC
operator task analysis
After the tentative selection of technologies and operator
roles has been completed and approved, the next step for the human factors engineers is to
carefully define the tasks that the operators will be required to perform. The goal is to
create a document describing and analyzing every action the operators will take and every
decision they will make during a range of plausible scenarios including normal traffic,
congested traffic, special events, various kinds of incidents, and various kinds of
Task analyses generally include conducting detailed
interviews with identified subject matter experts. In order to conduct these interviews
for the Bayside TMC, human factors engineers would interview experienced TMC managers and
operators from another location with similar problems, operational requirements, and
Procedures that might be used by the human factors engineers
for the task analysis are detailed in Sections 2.2.4, 2.2.5, and 2.2.6. Some guidelines are
provided in Section 3.2.5.
For each task in the Bayside TMC, information or estimates
are documented for the areas summarized in Table 1-2.(30)
Table 1-2. Data Obtained in Task
- Information Requirements
- What information is required?
- What information is available?
- How do operators evaluate the information?
- How do operators decide what response is made?
- What errors in information handling and decision making are
- Action Requirements
- What action do operators take?
- What movements are required by the action?
- How often must the action be taken?
- How precise must the action be?
- How quickly must the action be taken?
- What response errors are likely?
- What feedback do the operators get about their action?
- Workspace Requirements
- How much workspace is required by the action?
- How much workspace is available for the action?
- What configuration items (e.g., monitors, keyboards) are
- What job aids are needed?
- Staffing Requirements
- How many operators are required?
- How will the operators interact?
- Training Requirements
- What is the required level of skill and knowledge?
- What is the expected entry level of skill and knowledge?
- What skill and knowledge must be trained?
- Environmental considerations
- What is the nature of the work environment?
The task analysis document will be used to help define:
- The number of operators needed (and accordingly, the number
and size of workstations, and the size of the control room needed to house them).
- The kinds of skills and knowledge people need to serve as
- The design requirements for user-system interfaces.
- The content of operator training courses.
- The content of job aids.