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Eli Lilly Essay

1676 words - 7 pages

MANAGEMENT OF TECHNOLOGY

Case Brief on

Eli Lilly: The Evista Project

TIMELINE
4000-2000 BC – Ancient Egyptians developed compresses around Skull to stop migraines. 1876 – Eli Lilly founded in Indianapolis, Indiana by Colonel Eli Lilly. 1970s – Early research in Lilly on Serotonin. 1988 – Prozac launched to market 1991 – Serotonin “1f” receptor cloned by Lilly’s collaborator, Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation. CNS group starts screening serotonin like compounds from Lilly’s historical library 1992 – Glaxo launched sumatriptin (Imitrex) 1994 March/April “Hot” lead compound found from the screen with good fit at the serotonin 1f receptor Kaldor gives combinatorial chemistry ...view middle of the document...

This would approximately take 3 years to pass the test. Once the per-clinical was cleared the drugs were tested on the humans, which had to pass three phases for duration of 6 years. These three stages involve the safety trial, efficiency and the long term efficiency trial. Once the drug cleared it is registered for the FDA approval which will take another 2 to 3 years. On the whole the product to be commercialized it would take 12 to 13 years.

A Heavyweight team structure is a project management organizational structure that consists of specialized experts led by a project manager that engages members from different functions to relate to each other to improve products and processes that need to undergo major changes. The project manager usually a higher officer in the company is responsible 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. “Heavyweight” are the leaders in two respects. First, they are senior managers within the organization. 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. When managed effectively, heavyweight team offers improved communication, strong identification with and commitment to a project, and a focus on crossfunctional problem solving. Regarding the Eli Lilly, what compelled Watanabe, Executive VP of science and technology to implement the use of the heavyweight approach is that the company had an impact on revenues loosing $18 billion in market capitalization between 1991 and1995. He felt the need to halt the traditional approach to effectively run the organization.

What is your assessment of the performance of the two heavyweight project teams described in the case? What factors contributed most to these performance results? In the Pharmaceutical context how far back in the development process should heavyweight teams be deployed?

Two major successes resulted in the performance of the two heavyweight project teams described in the case that were not assigned to the traditional approach that Lilly used before for organizing development project. Watanabe announced the formation of two heavyweight...

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