No pain — No gain
International geoscience projects which bring together personnel from national geological surveys and research institutions can be rewarding and productive ventures. The opportunity to pool experience to tackle shared challenges is irresistible and at times it is as much the collaboration and the intangible spin-offs of collaboration, which initially attracts the participants, rather than a well specified scientific or business case. But as in all projects there is no gain without some pain and
... thout some pain and multi-national projects involve some particular pains. This short paper describes the issues and problems encountered in running three, multi-national, geoscience information system projects. It is not intended to be just a historical record of the problems that these projects faced. Our view is that these projects encountered generic issues and that in documenting them in an open way, those who are tasked with planning and managing similar projects, now and in the future, may benefit from the mistakes we have made and the lessons we have learned. It is also hoped that others, who may have already experienced them, may be able to relate to these issues and know they were not alone! As in many areas of scientific and business endeavour, it is often not the technical problems which pose the greatest difficulty, but the cultural and human ones. A brief review of the three projects is provided, the issues and problems are described and some views are put forward on how they may have been tackled better, or indeed, avoided.