Working with teams is complicated. Often, researchers and practitioners try to isolate team processes in order to simplify their interventions. At TDS we understand that it is not that easy. Our research tells us that there are three elements that interact so intensely that it is nearly impossible to separate them. These critical team elements are the organizational structure, the tasks and processes the members of these organizations must accomplish, and the technology that is available to support them. We refer to this as the OPT (Organization-Process-Technology) Triangle. The challenge is to capture the dynamic interrelationships and interactions of the elements of the triangle.

While science plays an important part in understanding the OPT triangle, it is often an art to be able to recognize the variables and develop solutions. While there are numerous models of organizations, communications, and other aspects of teams, statistics do little to capture the nature of the dynamics of a fully collaborative, dynamic team. There are no statistics that reflect the skill of any one-of-a-kind organization. For example, when you observe a 4000 acre forest fire, the data you collect from the incident commander reflects the entire population of individuals handling this unique situation. If you run it through statistical programs, the “n of 1” (that being the incident commander), will invariably result in “insignificant” data even though everything the commander did was significant. The “art” is in being able to make sense of the chaos, understand what this might mean with respect to the team, interpret this through various grounded models, and then translate what it means to the “client.” Most consultants and companies will, at best, address only one “leg” of the OPT triangle. TDS possesses the unique expertise required to look at all aspects of the OPT triangle.