Presentation to the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative Steering Committee

A systems map is, broadly speaking, a way to visualize the processes that characterize a system. These maps are typically associated with basic questions such as: who, when, where and why? We will be constantly referring to these maps to decompose the current system and trace the pain points. They also help us understand how the system may adapt if we change the system. In other words, they help answer the question: what if?

On Thursday, May 21, Pam Tenaerts, Director of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) at Duke University and an Expert Advisor to our project asked us to present a webinar to their Steering Committee. An initially daunting prospect, as the Steering Committee is comprised of organizations that are deeply involved in the clinical trial process on many levels and our project is just 6 months old.

Outcome? Fantastic! The presentation coalesced the work at this early stage, defined our unique perspective and – with luck – increased the scope of potential partner organizations as we move forward.

Here are a few highlights! The complete Webinar can be seen and heard at:


CTTI Blog Post: http://bit.ly/1JVCKec

CTTI Site: http://www.ctti-clinicaltrials.org

Strategy manifests itself through Principles that allow us to respond to the larger questions that have to do with the system as a whole. Research is the bridge to Innovation understood as the transition between what the system is today and what it should be in the future. Design is about Processes and making the connections within the system visible.

In this image, we are showing another type of systems map – the causal diagram. This is something we drew up very early in the project to show a subset of stakeholder interactions through a series of causal relations.

Field research through observation, interviewing, shadowing and other ethnographic techniques is essential to our project and will help us bridge the gap between the perception of the system of clinical trials, and how it really works. The logos in the screen show the initial group of organizations we are currently working with. For us, it is critical to engage organizations that represent the diverse multi-stakeholder nature of clinical trials.


Ellie Carlough