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julho 2, 2020 |

7 Skills Translation Project Managers Should Master

Translation project managers oversee translation processes from start to finish, making them essential members of any translation team. To offer guidelines and ensure successful outcomes, they need to master a series of skills that range from communication and management to building relationships. 

It’s the type of job that requires both soft skills and technical abilities, as well as experience in managing teams and coping with stress. This mix of skills allows a project manager to anticipate problems and prevent undesirable outcomes. 

If you’re looking to hire translation project managers to supervise your projects, make sure they have these seven essential skills.  

1) Service Orientation

A translation project manager should rely on customer service skills to ensure healthy interactions between translators and clients. You want to work with someone who listens and reads between the lines to make the right decisions at every step of the project.  

A translation project doesn’t depend entirely on the linguists; clients also have a fundamental role in the process. When they don’t review the source texts or fail to give feedback on time, delays can impact both the schedule and budget. In this context, a project manager needs to handle all parties and ensure everyone’s doing their job.

Project managers should also be creative, think independently, and develop patience and empathy to prevent conflict within the team. These abilities will enable managers to handle multiple requests and translation projects at the same time without missing deadlines.   

2) Negotiation

The project manager analyzes the translation project and chooses the right team for every client. Here, negotiation skills can do more for a translation project than fixing budgets and setting deadlines. They permit project managers to identify what clients really want and how they plan to achieve their objectives. They then communicate their knowledge to the translation team to make sure everyone reaches their goals.

Negotiation is an art and implies attention to detail and a focus on finding common ground between the parties involved in the project. A person with skills in this area will keep useful records of all interactions with the translators and clients, which can be helpful during long or complicated translation projects.  

3) Organization and Time Management

Planning is essential for this job, as it impacts the outcome of any project directly. Managers make sure that the team reaches every milestone in time and without going over the agreed-upon budget. For this to happen, they need to be organized and have excellent time management skills. 

Project managers define and provide the project plan. If their instructions aren’t clear or don’t include all the indications, linguists will work chaotically and deliver inaccurate translations.

A manager who maintains order is more likely to keep the entire team on track, following protocols and respecting discussed standards. In the long run, an organized project manager can help you streamline operations and speed up translation to keep costs down.  

4) Strong Communication

Project management is a series of intricate processes that involve balancing multiple elements and bringing people together with different cultural backgrounds. It also includes special attention to how information moves across departments to reach every team member at the right time.

Translation project managers should know the ups and downs of teamwork and how to fix any problems when managing multilingual experts. They’re the interface between translators and localization experts and their clients. So, they need strong communication skills to make sure everyone understands their role inside the team. 

Communication skills enable a project manager to add value and ensure productive workflows to meet translation quality standards. They build trust and sustain a strong relationship between language service providers and their clients. 

Without a project manager who can communicate, the team can’t manage the client’s expectations or maintain a cohesive dialogue. This may result in putting the project on hold due to miscommunication and, overall, generate longer turnarounds and translation inaccuracies.  

5) Flexibility

One of the most important abilities of a translation project manager is to accept changes, if not with a smile, at least with an open mind. It’s common for a client to have last-minute modifications that could result in rewriting parts of a translation and handling complaints from linguists. 

The project manager should remain flexible in handling issues caused by updated source files or additional locales. A person who is too rigid when guiding the translation team might make things difficult for both the client and the translators involved. 

6) Relationship Building

Building relationships is essential in the translation industry. It’s easy to overcome language and cultural barriers when people know they can rely on each other. 

A company can collaborate for years with the same language service provider, and this relationship ensures a unique brand voice across multiple languages. Linguists and clients know what to expect every time they start a new project and work better, in a more relaxed environment. Overall, people are more productive, complete projects on time, and make clients happy. 

7) Technical Knowledge

Translation projects rely on devices and software to reach successful outcomes. Linguists and translator project managers use project management tools, CAT tools, CMS connectors, and other apps to increase consistency and speed up translation processes.

A project manager should know what challenges come from using various tools and how to overcome any technical issues that could slow translators down. Technical knowledge is a must when looking to hire someone to manage your translation projects. 

Translation Project Managers Are Essential for Success

Translation project managers keep the wheels turning. Without someone in charge, it’s hard to coordinate the translation process and meet your goals. The quality of your translations depends entirely on how skilled project managers are and how they communicate with people.