PM Influencer Series: Debby Covey

PM Influencer Series: Debby Covey

In our series, The Aha Moment, we chat with influencers in the project management space and get to know them better. We ask a bunch of questions, some biz related and some not so biz related, in order to understand what makes them tick and find their aha moment.

This month’s special International Women’s Day feature is Deby Covey:

Q: Do you have a daily routine at work? If so, what is it?

A: First call of the day is always the Operations/Support Review at 5:30 every morning.  After that it’s juggling emails around team meetings, client calls, analysis – etc.  I organized my PMs with Project Management and weekly meetings so Mondays & Fridays are for Certificates and Tuesday-Thursday are for Digital Process Solutions.

Q: What is your tech stack (i.e., Proggio, Smartsheet, Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Slack, Gmail)?

A: Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, O365/Teams with a little bit of SharePoint thrown in.

Q: What struggles do you have with the tech stack that you currently have? What would help?

A: While it is not for everyone, my tech stack works for me.  The benefit of having the teams I do have is that we have operational and long range automation goals so anything missing, we can automate and produce.

Q: In your role, what is your main goal or focus?

A: Balancing the industry security requirements against archaic software of our customers and using Digital Process Solutions to identify issues, fix at source and/or develop automation, and loop back to reporting successes and ROI.

Q: In your experience, why do projects fail or fail to meet their deadlines?

A: In my personal opinion, you can always tell who is a PM by title and who went through the work of certification programs.  The projects that are usually behind or failing are those that the Project Manager was not provided the proper training and tools to keep things on track.  My pet peeve is PMs that are not firm advocates of their stakeholders tend to have problems at delivery.

Now for the Fun Stuff….

Q: Have you read any books, articles or other resources that changed your perspective on project management?

A: I’m always keen on Project Management knowledge, however lately my learning has been on leadership styles and organization.  I cannot say the last time I actually FINISHED a book – so small chunks & blogs are my preferred reading.  Lately I have been focusing on Innovative Leadership Institute Newsletters – they were beneficial 10 years ago when I served as President of the chapter and they still apply today as I serve again in a new post-covid world.  A key skill for Project Managers is leading people where you have no immediate influence on their paycheck – the same way it is with volunteers. ILI has a great course on Innovative Leadership for Non-Profits that I feel every chapter leader should attend.

Q: If there was one activity you could remove from your daily routine what would it be and why?

A: This one is sort of a change, not really a remove …  I would change the part of my day where I eat at my desk, and block time to step away.

Q: What advice could you give to up-and-coming professionals like yourself?

A:  If you love a challenge and are always striving to learn more – VOLUNTEER!  Early in my career, someone told me … if you want something done, find a busy person.  Yes, sometimes my life feels like it is off-the-rails, but it is very fulfilling.

Q: What is your go-to Karaoke song?

A: I have 2 depending on my mood.  “Living on a Prayer” and “Our Song” – but I am not afraid to Karaoke a song I have never even heard before – I love to sing – and if I don’t know the words, I make them up!

Q: Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

A: An unknown with the passion of getting it done.

If you want to learn more about Deby find her on LinkedIn.
Thank you Deby for hanging out with us and answering our questions!