Eli Lilly

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Heavyweight project team is a development project team consists of specialized experts that led by a project manager who has direct access to and responsibility for the work of all those involved in the project.
There were five keys characteristics defined a heavyweight team at Lilly.
• First, the teams were each given a very clear business charter “to focus exclusively on the development of a single compound.”
• Second, each team was collocated and cross functional.
• Third, the teams were each led by a “heavyweight” project manager.
• Fourth, each team took responsibility for the sub-stance of the work, how the work was accomplished, and the ensuing results.
• Fifth, each team had two executive sponsors, one from LRL (Lilly Research Laboratories) and one from the business group, who guided them and worked to resolve conflicts between the team and the rest of the Lilly organization.
There are two types of Heavy-weight managers
• First, they are senior managers within the organization; they may even outrank the functional managers. Hence, in addition to having expertise and experience, they also wield significant organizational clout.
• Second, heavyweight leaders have primarily influence over the people working on the development effort and supervise their work directly through key functional people on the core teams. Often the core group of people are dedicated and physically collocated with the heavyweight team project leader.
When managed effectively, heavyweight team offers improved communication, strong identification with and commitment to a project, and a focus on cross-functional problem solving. However, this team is not so easily managed and contains unique issues and challenges.
Other than the above characters and assigning heavyweight project leaders to lead these teams, “heavyweight project teams” had two major assignments that were not assigned to the traditional approach that Lilly used before for organizing development project.

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