GE Aviation’s FastWorks Program Shows How Big Companies can Act Small
At a recent Roundtable, hosted by Barnes Dennig, USI Insurance and Custom Design Benefits, local manufacturers gathered to discuss compensation and benefits, the future of manufacturing in the region, and some of the greatest challenges facing similar companies in today’s market.
Jillian Fisher, a FastWorks Team Lead from GE Aviation shared information on the company’s FastWorks program Thursday at the manufacturing compensation and benefits seminar. FastWorks is a program at GE that is based on principles from Eric Ries’ book The Lean Startup. The methodology aims to shorten product development cycles by eliminating waste and focusing on quality and cost control. While directed towards small startup companies, GE is applying to their business processes.
FastWorks is centered on the customer. Its focus is to solve customers’ problems while continuously learning and improving. The core principles of FastWorks are:
- Customer need – discover and frame the challenge/opportunity
- Potential solution – propose a solution to solve the customer need
- Leap of faith assumptions – identify assumptions, including commercial & technical
- Minimum viable products – design and execute a series of tests to prove/disprove critical assumptions
- Learning metrics – measure and explore customer actions & behaviors
- Pivot or persevere – based on customer validation, persevere, pivot, or stop
While GE is a large, complex business, FastWorks helps them simplify and streamline operations while increasing speed and encouraging innovation.
Jillian Ackerman Fischer is a Cincinnati native who grew up in Wyoming where she regularly heard the sound of jet engines from the GE Evendale plant where her grandfather once worked. She moved abroad for a period and worked in education on a IS Naval base.
She has 25 years in education and predominantly financial services having functional and management roles in Communications, Knowledge Management, Education, and Process Improvement. Most recently Jillian was a VP at PNC and previously 5/3 Bank.
Overall, it seemed fitting that she joined GE Aviation in late 2016, after pivoting to take a career change. Today, at GE Aviation, Jillian leads and manages the FastWorks program globally, facilitates training, and coaches project teams.
To learn more about the FastWorks Program, and to see what Manufacturers talked about, view the recording of our roundtable here.