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September 8, 2017 |

Why Your Project Manager Is Essential to Your Success

Translation and localization projects, like any other activity, are all about maintaining a high standard of quality. But the work must be carried out while respecting deadlines and staying within budget. That’s why your project manager is essential to your success when you start translating and localizing your content.  

You need a qualified project manager to ensure that things happen in the right way. An expert in time management, with people skills and the ability to find creative solutions to any problem that may come up during the project.

Not having a project manager for your translation and localization project means spending more time and money. You’ll also run the risk of ending up with files and documents that fall short of your expectations.

Translation  errors  happen at all levels. Even the strongest brands on the market have sent out badly translated messages to their customers. However, these giant companies usually have millions to invest in complex campaigns and damage control.

Most regular companies can’t afford such a loss. Having a knowledgeable project manager in charge to ensure your translation is correct and localized to your market saves you time, money and possibly tons of bad brand reputation.

Your Project Manager Evaluates the Scope of Your Project

Whether you  localize your website,  video game, or mobile app, or simply have a document to translate; the translation process can be complex. Knowing the amount of resources needed from the beginning can help you decide how to manage the workflow.

Your project manager analyzes all elements to give you a clear image about the scope of your translation project. That includes things like:

  • Word count. It may not seem complicated, but sometimes you need to dig through translatable strings and a lot of content to obtain correct numbers. Computer-Assisted Translation tools can give you an estimated word count, but their results often vary from one software to another.
  • Target languages. Translating into Norwegian or Swedish costs more than translating into Spanish. Why? Usually because costs of living are higher in these Northern European countries. Moreover, Norwegian and Swedish are not as common as Spanish, which is usually the cheapest language to start with.
  • Source material. Translating general themes costs less. If you have to translate challenging content that requires expertise and specialists, you’ll have higher translation costs. Your project manager can advise you of all these additional charges so you don’t end up with any surprises.
  • Possible changes. When undertaking complex projects, modifications aren’t unusual. By knowing what to expect, your project manager can easily prevent unnecessary expenses caused by translating the same content twice, unforeseen updates, or human error.

If you’re still wondering why your project manager is essential to your success, think of it this way:

Your project manager must express each of these elements and more (glossaries, translation memory tools, turnaround) into measurable concepts. This is the only way to evaluate the real dimensions of your project in terms of time and costs.

Your Project Manager Plans Every Step of Your Translation Project

Whether you translate into one single language, or you consider a multilingual translation project, you need a strategy to maintain workflow and quality standards.

When it comes to website localization, you usually can’t translate content before separating strings from the code. And you can’t give translators documentation files before translating the actual software.

You also need someone to proofread every part of the translation as it’s done, to avoid duplicating possible errors from one phase of the project to another.

Every step of your project must be planned carefully to increase efficiency and achieve the best results, with minimal costs. Your team needs milestones and obtainable goals to follow, to stay productive.   

Programmers and translators should have permanent access to files to be able to perform modifications in real time. They must be able to communicate easily, preferably using specialized software, without spreadsheets and forwarded emails, that can cause errors and confusion.  

A skilled project manager plans everything ahead to provide a dynamic working environment for all the people involved in the project.

Your Project Manager Understands Your Style Guide

Translation projects often involve many team members from different parts of the world, each with a personal style that reflects in their work. Having a style guide to invoke is helpful, but sometimes it’s hard to to stick to when the source and the target languages are very different.

A project manager makes sure all content respects your style guide and expresses what your company stands for, no matter how many languages it is translated into. When looking to present a united brand image globally, this is essential if you want to gain trust and increase positive brand exposure.

With the availability of information, people today know how you treat customers in Shanghai even if they live happily in Rome. The internet spreads the news faster than wildfire, and even small mistakes can cause a lot of negative publicity and bad reviews inside the target market and out.

Coordination of a Diverse Team is a Hard Job

Programmers, translators, linguists, marketing experts, they all work together when doing web or mobile app localization. Keeping all these people in one place is a permanent job, especially when translators come from various parts of the world and different time zones.

The team needs vision and guidance during every phase of the project. The project manager is responsible for creating schedules and maintaining an updated database with all co-workers involved in the project.

Your project manager must organize glossaries, provide context for translators and help put together the specific terminology, explained so all team members know what they’re writing about.  

Your project manager makes sure that important information travels fast and safely between all team members. They permanently control workflow, set new milestones and double-check the quality of the completed translation.  

Your Project Manager Communicates with You Periodically

Another reason your project manager is essential to your success is because they will keep you permanently updated about the progress of your translation or localization project.

Without a person to contact, it would be impossible for you to know where you stand or how much time you still need to launch your product in the new target market.

The project manager really is the glue that holds everything together. They report regularly on quality standards, team progress and money spent, to help you make predictions and program further campaigns.

Any translation project will cost more in terms of time and money without a project manager. Having a skilled professional to coordinate the entire process may seem like an extra expense, but it will certainly save important resources in the long run. 

Contact us  today to find out how our trained and talented project managers will ensure the success of your work!