Moving Fast is Product Management

Speed is the name of the game in this industry right now.

David O’Malley, Product Innovation and Digital Transformation leader at General Electric, shares how he helped teams across GE shift from analog to digital and adopt modern product management best practices.


When asked about agile companies, few people would think of the world’s largest producer of aircraft engines. But as the 18th largest company in the world, General Electric (GE) has been transforming itself by adopting digital technology and modern product management best practices.

David O’Malley has helped lead this transformation across the company.

David says that getting started was the hardest part. This was because executives at GE, a very finance-driven organization, wanted evidence that this new approach would work within GE, which was of course impossible, because they hadn’t tried yet. Fortunately, David did find executives who were willing to take a chance on this new approach.

Even though there was buy-in at the executive level to adopt digital technologies, the main hurdle that was preventing them from doing so was that teams were simply not moving fast enough. David realized that he needed to cut down bureaucracy and empower teams to build great products. He did so by running accelerators that included coaching and a product management framework that put the user at the center of development.

David helped teams increase velocity by over 300%, but his goal was not simply to get more work done faster. He also helped teams work smarter.

During the accelerators, David limited teams to working eight hours per day. He says that product teams shouldn’t rely on “heroics” but should instead focus on sustainable practices in which people have ample opportunity to adapt to the challenges around them.

This video provides an inside look of an actual sprint at GE:

You’ll learn a lot from this episode about digital transformation and how to move faster in large organizations.

Here are the highlights:

David O'Malley

Product Innovation and Digital Transformation leader at General Electric

What David is Reading and Listening To Right Now

David's Favorite New Product Outside of Work

Put our guest's advice into action.

Alpha is the world's most powerful product management platform for running experiments and generating on-demand insights.

Learn More

Subscribe to receive the latest episodes and exclusive resources

Related Episodes

167

Making Change is Product Management

Amy Radin, former Chief Innovation Officer at Citi, and Author of “The Change Maker’s Playbook,” discusses the most important skills for leading a digital transformation, and how to get cover to build great products.

Listen to Episode
120

Agile Transformation is Product Management

Andrea Schneider, Acting Director of Product Management at the IRS, and Lauren Gilchrist, Director at Pivotal Labs, share how they shifted the IRS from Waterfall to Agile development and increased speed to release from two years to nine weeks.

Listen to Episode
125

Continuous Transformation is Product Management

Eric Ries, Author of The Lean Startup and The Startup Way, shares the management practices that can help leaders inspire innovation and develop breakthrough products.

Listen to Episode
98

Corporate Transformation is Product Management

Aaron Eden, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Moves The Needle, shares how he brought Lean innovation principles to his former company, Intuit, and launched 100 internal startups in 100 days.

Listen to Episode

Validate product decisions and accelerate innovation with Alpha

Learn More