Ananth Prasad, president of the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association Inc., leads a Project Management Academy session.

By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

The inaugural ARTBA Foundation “Transportation Construction Professional Development Week” integrated a Project Management Academy into the three-day event June 4-6 at the association’s Washington, D.C. offices. The program provided participants with both theory and practical applications of project management principles for road and bridge building projects.

The first session was led by Christopher Brasco, senior partner at Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald LLP, who began the discussion of construction documentation and successfully managing risk. He was joined by Watt, Tieder Associate Matthew Baker and Capital Construction Consultant Executive Vice President Robert Lockhart.

“There is no such thing as risk avoidance, only risk management and project success is either shared or it’s forfeited,” Brasco told attendees. All three presenters emphasized the importance of engaging an owner at the slightest onset of a problem, rather than later down the road. “Successful projects include the alignment of interests, effective communication and rapid dispute resolution,” Lockhart said. According to Brasco, the Golden Rule of Project Documentation is “F.A.T” – Factual, Accurate & Timely.

Day two of the Academy began with a welcome from ARTBA General Counsel Rich Juliano, who introduced presenter Ananth Prasad, president of the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association Inc., and former Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation. Prasad highlighted the tactics and best practices for working with both public officials and private sector clients, including a focus on building relationships, knowing your client and underscoring trust. He also emphasized the importance of relying on your association when needed.

Lorraine D’Angelo, president, LDA Compliance Consulting finished the Academy program with an explanation of what a compliance program is and why a company needs to have one. She highlighted the differences between ethics and compliance and how the topics relate to transportation construction projects, including a company’s code of conduct and standard core values.

“Know the environment you’re operating in. It’s part of your risk management,” D’Angelo told attendees.