Irena Trajkovski, Senior Technical Project Manager at Discovery, is a winner of this quarter’s Accountability in Action award. For Irena and many in IT, sitting in front of a computer screen all day can make it difficult to see the big picture and understand how their work helps the company achieve its goals. That all changed when Discovery implemented its accountability program. Irena said, “It makes my work more meaningful. It’s motivating to know that what I do as a project manager contributes to Discovery’s larger goals.”
Beginning in 2019, Discovery built a culture of accountability that helps employees think and act in new ways to achieve key company results. The program is founded on four best practices of accountability:
- Identifying gaps in execution
- Personally owning responsibilities and aligning them to the company’s key results
- Creatively and collaboratively working on solutions
- Actively executing on solutions while building an environment of trust
Irena embodies these traits in her work. In March 2020, Irena led a special project to convert COB client data from an existing platform to the company’s new ReThink tool. The new data analytics platform gives claims auditors the tools they need to work more efficiently and more easily identify recovery opportunities for clients. Crucial to the success of the program was migrating data to the new platform and ensuring its accuracy without interrupting auditors’ work.
The accountability program played a key role in the success of the project.
“The accountability program changed the perspective of project management,” said Irena. “It empowers everyone, regardless of their role, to know that they can make an impact. If they see something, they can take the initiative to do something.”
The program helps employees identify whether their behavior is “above the line” or “below the line,” Irena explained. “We can call out ‘below the line’ behavior, encouraging others and examining what we can do personally to stop complaining about circumstances and, instead, go the extra mile. That has been very impactful for me as a project manager and for the whole team.”
One example of this happened when Irena and her team lacked quality assurance resources to test their work. Rather than letting it stop them, the team asked themselves what they could do about it. They identified someone on the team who had a similar skill set and took the initiative to fill that role.
When asked about the impact of the program, Irena said, “It has really provided a breath of fresh air for our company and inspires and empowers people to feel like they can make a difference. It connects our work to the company’s mission and goals.”
Irena credits her team for her success with the accountability program. “My superpower is my team,” she said. “I work with a team of talented individuals. When they are doing their best, it motivates me to do my best.”
When she’s not busy at work, Irena is busy at home with two toddlers, ages two and three. She enjoys going on nature walks with her husband and kids, doing daily yoga or Pilates, and trying new recipes in the kitchen.