Congestive heart failure is a major public health problem in the United States, Canada, and other Western countries. The Digitalis Investigation Group (DIG) trial was a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial that evaluated the effects of digoxin on all-cause mortality and on hospitalization for heart failure in patients with heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction < or =0.45 with normal sinus rhythm. It was designed as a large simple trial. There were 6800 patients entered into the main study over a 31.5-month recruitment period at 302 participating centers in the United States and Canada. All patients were followed for a minimum of 28 months. In order for this study to succeed, many groups had to work together successfully. In this supplement, we present practical aspects of organizing and conducting a large simple trial such as DIG.