Top 5 Things to Know As a Project Manager with Leroy Banack

We're back with a follow up on our last post: ECO Canada x Meridus: Implementing Project Management Skills From The Ground Up, with more tips and tricks from our favourite Project Manager, Leroy Banack. This time around we're sharing is top 5 secrets to being a great Project Manager.

Welcome back! If you’re here then you’ve probably had the chance to check out our previous blog ECO Canada x Meridus: Implementing Project Management Skills From The Ground Up. Now, let’s dig into these nuggets of wisdom Leroy had to share.

At this point, we know that basic project management skills are essential in everything we do. From tiling the bathroom floors to overseeing a multi-billion-dollar project, the steps are identical. Even though they’re on different scales, when it comes to a project, no matter the size, the essential elements apply everywhere and to everyone.

So, we asked the questions we’re all thinking – ‘What’s the first and most important step to successfully completing a project?’ To which Leroy’s responded,

“People often rush into projects without allocating enough time to planning. Then when it’s too late realize they’re halfway through a project, but they missed a big task and have capped out their budget. The truth is most projects will fail within the first 10% of the project because the planning was done wrong and that sets you up for failure far down the line.”

He went on to share some important takeaways that he’s gathered throughout his extensive career.

Top 5 Things to Know As a Project Manager:

  1. Project Manager, Y.O.U
    ‘Project Manager’ is not a title, it’s a role that we all take on at one point or the other. If you’re managing a task, you’re a project manager even if you don’t have 3 letters behind your name.
  2. The 10% Rule
    As a rule of thumb before beginning a project, sum up the time and cost allocated for the overall project and assign 10% for project management. Of that 10% set aside another 10% to planning.
  3. Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail
    If you get the planning done correctly and you identify all the tasks that are in the project correctly, then you’re 90% of the way of getting your project done.
  4. Communication is Key
    Communication is important, not only when dealing with clients but also in writing proposals. It’s oftentimes the deciding factor between whether your proposal is selected or not.
  5. Writing is the Job
    Another layer that makes for a great communicator. The majority of jobs in the engineering and environmental sector (except when in the field) involve writing reports, letters, proposals and more.


These insights only begin to scratch the surface on the fundamental elements of project management. Don’t just chalk it up to experience and learn by trial and error like many do, when you can learn the full scope of project management to accelerate your career path and make you a more effective employee.

If you’re wondering how to apply the knowledge to projects, here’s a great example from Leroy:

“I’ve been managing projects for 20 years and the largest project that I’ve been involved with was a quarter billion-dollar mediation – I have to tell you that 95% of what we used there is in this course.”

He’s not wrong. The new Project Management Essentials course challenges the idea that project management is a skill reserved for only a few. Instead, it captures the basic elements that make up project management and communicates them in a practical, dynamic and engaging way that can be understood by everyone within an organization.

This course was not developed based on an abstract idea of what project management should be, but from case studies of real-life situations that project managers, CEOs and entire companies have found themselves in and it is applicable in everyday life.

Intrigued? Get the skills you need to become a superstar in your role and potentially save your company millions of dollars in failed projects by taking the Project Management Essentials course or our new PM Bundle developed in conjunction with Meridus.

P.S. If you’re looking for team training we can connect you with Project Management courses at a corporate rate. Set up a time to chat with on of our experts.

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