Business opportunities in the petroleum chain often result in losses for enterprises, due to problems in the management of commercial-technical projects, especially with large companies such as Brazilian Petrobras. The commercial area often hits its goal (i.e., sell), but the project is not delivered within the negotiated, agreed and contracted quality, cost and schedule. To avoid fines, new human and financial resources are added to the project, which will certainly decrease the profit margin or even cause financial losses. The image of the company could be affected, harming the conquest of new projects with this or other customers. The repetition of this situation may even cause company's bankruptcy.

This article examines some reasons why this happens, and proposes solutions to better manage these projects. It will be suggested a more efficient and integrated coordination between the technical and commercial areas, since the beginning, at the first sign of a business opportunity, even before starting negotiations with the client and continuing with strong integrated operations between the two areas, until the conclusion of the project. It will also be addressed the involvement of other areas (Finance, Quality Management, Board of Directors) of the company, as well as other companies. The relationship with these areas and companies should also be managed within the scope of the project.

Finally, it will be proposed the application of simplified project management and knowledge management techniques, so that projects be better planned and executed and that the information generated throughout the projects (lessons learned, for example) could be incorporated into the company's intellectual capital, facilitating new future projects, risk analysis and greater empowerment of people in the company.

The experiences reported in this paper may be useful also for other markets and countries.

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