The tasks of project managers in charge of localization projects encompass a wide range of activities, all of which have one ultimate goal – the timely, cost-effective, and quality completion of a localization project.
The tasks of project managers in charge of localization projects encompass a wide range of activities, all of which have one ultimate goal – the timely, cost-effective, and quality completion of a localization project.To achieve this goal, LPMs have to handle many diverse and seemingly disconnected steps, from technical and linguistic aspects and requirements to smooth communication and the technical and linguistic quality of the final product.
Things can easily go wrong during each of these steps for a variety of reasons, and that is why good localization project managers need to follow a dedicated workflow and develop the skills necessary to recognize potential issues as early as possible.
Project Scope and Timeline
The first necessary step is to determine the scope of the project – project type, size, required CAT and QA tools, the languages into which the material is to be translated, additional linguistic requirements such as particular linguist expertise needed, and the timeline – the project start date, the time realistically required for the translation, proofreading, and QA, as well as any additional linguistic or technical steps required by the project.
Every aspect of the project should be clearly defined in its initial stages, as virtually anything left undetermined can seriously affect the project, its timeline, and its budget, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
Best practice includes equal dedication to every project, regardless of its size, careful examination of all aspects of the project, clear and transparent communication with all parties involved, and the timely and precise entry of all data into the project management system.
This will help isolate and eliminate any possible issues that might affect the project.
The budget should be determined before the project execution, and should remain tightly controlled throughout the process, regardless of the project’s size. Every cent counts, and the only possible way not to cause financial losses to any party is to maintain honest and clear communication throughout the project.
Localization projects are complex and require extreme versatility from project managers. An LPM must be involved in all stages and keep his or her eyes out for potential issues.
Risk Management and Quality Control
If there is one skill out of those necessary that separates a good project manager from a mediocre or downright bad one, it is the ability to recognize potential problems before they occur. However, this is one of those skills that no one is born with, but is instead developed over time. Keeping communication clear and records neat will greatly help detect and avoid potential risks.
Quality control should be implemented both during and after the project. During the project, quality control is achieved through constant monitoring as to whether the technical and linguistic requirements of the project are being met throughout the process, and this includes everything from file formats and the software being used to translating and localizing in accordance with TMs and glossaries. After the process is completed, quality control is achieved by thorough QA checking.
Localization projects are complex and require extreme versatility from project managers. To complete projects successfully, an LPM must be involved in all stages, understand the essence of each step, and keep his or her eyes out for potential issues. Smooth and transparent communication is at the core of all of this, and remains the most essential resource for completing all tasks localization projects in a timely and successful manner.