The present study discusses the adequacy of the Critical Chain Project Management Method (CCPM) — also known as the Critical Chain Method — for scheduling projects involving shutdowns on oil platforms, as such projects involve decision-making processes under risk conditions. The CCPM is based on the Theory of Constraints and aims at providing more precise and more clearly focused control instruments than those traditionally used in the Critical Path Method (CPM). The CCPM also indicates the best moments to act and where and how the action should be directed. The hypothesis underlying the research is that the CCPM portrays, more adequately than the CPM, the uncertainty that exists in a platform shutdown. This characteristic also makes it possible to draw up a schedule that is both more realistic and more challenging, as it addresses the goal of causing less interruption of production. On the basis of this hypothesis, the two main questions that oriented the entire investigation were: 1) Is the CCPM suitable for scheduling the shutdown of an offshore oil platform and, 2) What advantages might it have over the traditional methods in use? To answer these questions the authors reviewed the existing bibliography on the topic and made direct on-site observations during an actual shutdown. In addition, interviews were held with a number of specialists in the area using qualitative approaches, namely, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and action research.

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