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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds FAYE HERAN: My name is Faye Heran. I’m a fashion stylist and an event manager/event producer. I’ve been working in fashion, charity, managing conferences, all the way through to live events like festivals.

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds TIM ALLEN: My name is Tim Allen. This project is about reopening a community-owned shop and cafe. And that followed the closure of our shop a few years ago and the village basically saying, look, this isn’t good enough. We want to do something about this. And a group got together, and basically out of that created a small team. It shifted to being about setting up a cooperative, raising the funds, purchasing the property. It then moved into what was effectively a building conversion and extension project.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds MANISH PATEL: My name is Manish Patel. I’m a senior lecturer here at the Open University. And I’m going to be talking about the NOMAD instrument on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission to Mars.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds MARK LEASE: I’m Mark Lease. The spaceship was going to orbit Mars and make measurements of the atmosphere. So we’ve provided one of the three channels in an arrangement called NOMAD. We’re looking in the ultraviolet and visible light at the surface of Mars and the atmosphere basically as the sun sets and rises behind Mars.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 seconds FAYE HERAN: The challenges of project management are very often a mixture of budget, other people’s objectives, so what somebody else wants to get out of the project, matched with what you really can do, and getting all the people together from the very start all the way through to the project, or in my case, the event happening.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds TIM ALLEN: One of the challenges is simply to balance community expectation against the realities of what you can achieve. There are unpredictabilities around well, would we get planning permission or not? There are clearly challenges around organising volunteers, certainly speaking personally. When I first stood behind the till, even though I had the training we’d organised, I was terrified. I’ve never been behind a till in my life. And there was a queue of 20 people out the door wanting to buy things, and I couldn’t work out what buttons to press. And all of the volunteers felt the same. We also challenged ourselves because it had taken a while to find the right property and then raise the money.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 seconds We felt a responsibility to get that shop open.

Skip to 2 minutes and 18 seconds MANISH PATEL: We have faced a number of challenges, and as you should. You shouldn’t build an instrument if it’s really easy. You’re not building a good enough instrument if it’s too easy. So the challenges in my view are good. As long as you overcome the problem somehow then you’re on the right track. Some of the biggest challenges have perhaps come through language and culture. I’ve always said, building an instrument is easy. Dealing with people is the hard bit. So especially when you start talking across languages, people can interpret things slightly different. So you need a bit of understanding of how other people in other cultures interpret what you’re saying. We’ve had a number of challenges like that.

Skip to 2 minutes and 57 seconds And it’s all team dynamics. And it’s all about understanding the people in your team both internally and externally as well.

Inside project management: interviews with experts

In this video, experienced project managers from different industries – fashion design, community retail and space exploration – discuss the challenges they face.

Are you surprised by anything they are saying? Are they discussing the same challenges that you read about in the previous step?

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This video is from the free online course:

Business Fundamentals: Project Management

The Open University