An article in the Financial Post states that “task failures and unforeseen events are rarely due to technical ability but rather, poor fundamental project management skills,” and there’s no one better to speak to that than project management expert and Senior Partner at F&M Management, Leroy Banack. So, we did just that.
Earlier this year we had the amazing opportunity to chat with Leroy following the launch of Meridus’ course, Project Management Essentials, in partnership with ECO Canada. Pulling on his years of experience, this course has been developed to give you an insight into the inner workings of project management and debunk a few of the myths we have been led to believe.
Leroy’s career kicked off with an undergraduate degree in geology and a master’s degree in hydrogeology. Determined to succeed, he dedicated his time and expertise to his work, consistently striving to be better and make a difference. Little did he know that his drive and passion for the industry would lead to personal and professional opportunities and result in an impactful career that would significantly change the way we handle projects in the environmental and engineering sector.
Soon enough, Leroy was involved in the corporate aspect of the business at SEACOR Environmental Services Inc.– working on projects of a larger scope and building project management systems, and that’s when he met his business partner– Faramarz Borgzaran.
“We met over 20 years ago now and we fast became friends and really good colleagues. About 12 years ago, we left the consulting world together and through F&M Management we provide corporate advice to the industry.”
Within their company, F&M Management, they provide corporate advice to environmental consultants, engineers, and affiliated services firms to grow and prosper. As part of their role as corporate advisors, they provided targeted project management training to the industry. Their value proposition was unique, so much so that clients began pouring in and eventually, they were training hundreds of people per company.
Uncovering the issue
Over a 10-year period, they were able to amass a large collection of case studies outlining company budgets, projects, and failures. In analyzing the data, they identified a common issue in the project failures across all their clients – poor project management skills for all project team members.
“We went through all of these project failures and the one thing we had seen that was common throughout was that projects failed when tasks were handed off. Sure, some companies also site technical ineptitude and difficult clients, but 70% of them said project management. Tasks are being handed off to to individuals that don’t have project management training. The reason for failure is not because companies don’t have enough highly trained project managers, but rather not having all staff understand the basics of managing tasks and projects.”
Building the solution
Enter Meridus – a project management company geared towards revolutionizing corporate understanding and application of project management skills across the board. With over 40 years of combined project management experience and supported by their research, Faramarz and Leroy decided to challenge the status quo of project management as we know it by “creating a course that isn’t just for project managers but for everyone in the company.”
When asked the rationale for creating the Project Management Essentials Course, Leroy says that “Every reason a task would fail is the same reason a project will fail. Whether you’re painting your kitchen or trying to land a man on the moon, a basic level of project management ability is required to successfully complete the task. The major root cause of project failures identified in the industry would be remedied, and that 70% loss would decrease drastically, if everyone within an organization understood the basic concepts of project management.”
After 11 years working as a hydrogeologist, and another 15+ years working in senior corporate roles and managing multi-million-dollar projects across North America, Leroy has put his expertise into teaching the fundamental elements of project management in practical, easily digestible, and affordable courses that everyone can benefit from.
Keep an eye out for our next blog sharing Top 5 Things to Know As a Project Manager from Leroy himself.