process 1 |ˈpräˌsesˈprōˌses | noun
A continuous and regular action or succession of actions occurring or performed in a definite manner, and having a particular result or outcome; a sustained operation or series of operations.
You have already heard that the CTSP is a different kind of research project. The majority of us are (were?) outsiders to the clinical trials system. As systems thinkers, we come from all walks of life and have together spent the past 4 years thinking about drug development, including whether and how it can be fixed. We are so used to our differences that we have just learned to impatiently put them to work. The highly cited image below (DIKW Pyramid revisited by David Somerville, based on a two pane version by Hugh MacLeod) reminds us of the various iterative processes we employed to reach where we are at today: observations transform into learning, insights, and wisdom over time.
We have never been linear in our process or thinking. Nevertheless, looking back, the richness of our project trajectory and processes ultimately does reflect the diagram above. From start to end, the various tools and methods we have used (both planned and unplanned) have allowed us to make sense of the complexity of this system.
As we enter the last stretch of this phase of the project, we see how pieces that we once thought random fit nicely into place. Data and information that might have been put to the side earlier in the project, often comes back to complete the puzzle. New wisdom allows us to restart the data collection process again, unearthing knowledge that we might have ignored. As we move forward, we plan on sharing these new insights, hoping that our recommendations tackle the depth, breadth, and complexity of the problem at hand.