Introducing Gallagher Project Manager, Operations, Debbie Kraushofer, who is currently working on implementing the company's biggest systems upgrade in Australia – and the insurance industry – to date.
Debbie brings her technology and organisational skills to realising the centralisation and consolidation of broker and customer interfaces in this transformational project.
I’ve managed IT and business projects for a lot of years now, and I intend to continue managing projects. Project work is complex. It’s hard: there are always devils in the detail to spoil the plans you’ve spent days or weeks pulling together. The business environment is volatile and requirements change, technology advances, people make mistakes and don’t always get on with each other, but those are the challenges that keep you thinking and on your toes.
As long as you have the energy, project work is never boring, and delivering a project that really does make a difference for our clients or our colleagues is really satisfying.
What lights your fire?
I like the creative side of projects. The talking – the teamwork – figuring out what is really needed, what will really make a difference, cutting through the smoke and mirrors. The requirements and solution design part of the project is always the most exciting part.
But if you want to know what really inspires me it’s growing Australian native plants, fruit and vegetables, it’s cooking and eating and drinking, laughing with friends and family, walking through beautiful public open spaces. These are the things that matter most to me.
What are your challenges?
The challenge is to deliver on my professional responsibilities but not at the expense of my obligations to my family and friends. This can be difficult to manage, especially during times where extended peak workload is necessary, but that is the nature of project work – there are always peak and troughs… well, actually not many troughs.
What is your support framework?
Project Titan is the second whole of business transformation project I’ve worked on and it’s hard, but our team members support each other and we’re also supported by our colleagues. It starts at the top with our program manager and filters down to all members of our team.
Although it’s unsaid we have a ‘no blame’ culture, and ‘transparency’. That means, when you’ve made a mistake or underestimated something, or found a problem, you must find the courage to raise it so that we talk about it as a team and find a way through it. We help each other.
Your career crossroads moment?
I’ve been lucky to be employed my whole career, including over 20 years’ working on one or two or three-year contracts doing different roles in different companies ‒ okay, I’m old! I’ve chosen forks in the road as they appeared. I didn’t set out as an 18 year old to become a project manager. I wasn’t driven to it, I just found that I liked, it and I wasn’t bad at it, so I kept doing it!
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