Replacing paper dependant processes with an iPad application

Project Summary

This project’s goal was to upgrade and unify the processes in the locomotive maintenance shops across CN’s network.

To achieve that goal it was decided early on that some form of mobile device would be deployed in the shops with one or more applications that would replace the paperwork and help the mechanics and their supervisors perform their duties.

A secondary goal was to allow the department in charge of train movement to get a more detailed insight in the shops deadlines and progress to better plan when and where locomotives would be available.


The scope and scale of this project were massive. This project was also a high priority project that would get a lot of oversight and attention.
Another challenge was that most of the technical team was not yet onboarded on the project when we were ready to start defining the scope of a Minimal Viable Product so we had limited insight on the limitations of the chosen technology stack.


As a product designer the first step was to start collaborating closely with the product owner and the tech leads to prioritize features and establish what the MVP would be. Taking into account the known unknowns and working closely with the product owner I was able to identify the core features of the mechanics application and start articulating the overall workflow and experience.


Thanks to this highly collaborative effort from the start, the very first version of the application was deployed in a working repair shop and started to be used to perform and track actual repair work. This MVP then helped prioritize and build the rest of the application and gave the overall direction for the upcoming releases.

As more and more of the dev team was onboarded we were able to refer back to this Minial Viable Product and transform it in a fully fledge Locomotive Repair Shop Management application.