Project Management in Translation Industry

The main objective of Project Management in Translation Industry is to identify the translation requirements, managing staff resources, organize the project plan and implement and deliver the project within specific time frame. In other words project management can be described as an activity that has a unique blend of teamwork, coordination, control techniques and planning for the translation assignment. Hence, if an individual prefers to establish his career as a project manager, he must possess all these qualities with precise knowledge of the importance and advent of project management in translation domain.

Advent of Project Management

Many a times, it has been wondered as to why so much of planning, coordination and management is required in the translation industry, when it just calls for translating a document from one language to another. Basically the need of project management has been witnessed due to the increasing globalization. Realizing the impact of globalization, many businesses started to tailor their services and products as per the specifications of local markets. Further, to get more out from the local markets, the firms began to release translated versions of their products and marketing plans. Thus, translation became an integral part of the production cycle for most of the companies with tighter translation deadlines. This gave rise to the advent of project management, as without proper management, it is quite impossible to deliver quality output within limited time period.

Therefore with its advent, most of the companies carved out step-by-step procedure that helped them to effectively manage and deliver the translation assignment.

Comprehensive Step-By-Step Procedure

Step 1. Preparation of Project Management

Based on the inputs and requests received from the client, the project managers first of all endeavor to gain a deep insight of the project scope. The project requirements are then refined to ensure that they are accurate.

Step 2. Determining Resources for the Project

To make sure that the final output turns out to be authentic, the project managers determine the type of human resources (engineers, translators, DTP experts etc.) for the execution of the project. Depending on the language requirement, size & time frame of the project, the translation projects are assigned to the eligible translators accordingly.

Step 3. Creating a Blueprint

After assigning the translation projects, a blueprint is created that helps the project managers to ensure that the budgetary constraints set by the clients are not exceeded as well as the lifecycle of the files is on the right track. This is also important to set up a proper project schedule.

Step 4. Source File Examination

Project managers undergo a thorough examination of the source files to determine several factors; the most prominent being determining the format in which the original text and graphics are. This is particularly important during multilingual desktop publishing, to ensure the correct formatting and layout of the translated file.

Step 5. Instructions for the Team

The Project managers provide a comprehensive project plan to their internal team. This may include clear project instructions and milestones. Basically the purpose of instructing the team is to provide a precise list of the standards defined by the client. Many a times, a meeting is conducted to describe and discuss such details received from the client. Further, the meeting ensures that each and every member involved in the project has completely understood the specifications and would deliver the assignment accordingly.

Step 6. Coordination with the Client

After a kick-off meeting with the team members, it is the duty of the project manager to report all the details regarding the procedure of the translation, accomplishment of client’s goal and time management for the assignment. If the client wishes to add or subtract some of the details mentioned previously, then the project manager gets those changes implemented in the assignment.

Step 7. Project Issue Resolution

During the translation process, if some issues occur, the team members communicate the issues to the project manager. Here the project manager holds the charge of resolving any type of issue, hindering the translation process. An example of such an issue can be a truncated text. If an issue requires client input for resolution, then informing the client becomes mandatory.

Step 8. Final Project Delivery

As the deadline of the translation project approaches, the project manager has to go through a number of procedures, to ensure that the final output is complete and adhere to the original project specifications. Before the deadline, the editors and proof-readers are instructed to review the translated text. After their approval, the translated text is delivered at the client’s end.

Project Management: A Ladder to Translation Success

The above procedure shows that without precise project management, authentic translation output cannot be achieved. Both the activities go hand-in-hand. There are a number of occasions where mistakes could potentially occur, if proper management is lacking. Hence, project management is certainly a ladder to attain success in translation.

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