E.g., 07/17/2019
E.g., 07/17/2019

What Value does Project Management Bring to the Translation and Localization Process?

By: Matthew Grotenstein, Vice President, Client Development - Acclaro Inc.

26 April 2017

Whether you have a small project, customized workflow, or an ongoing relationship with a translation company, you may wonder what value project management brings to the translation and localization process.  

Although you may think it is an unnecessary additional expense, project management actually helps save you money, reduce turnaround time, and ensure each translation perfectly conveys your brand’s message and tone. To help clairfy what may seem to be an opaque process, we compiled some details. Check it out!

What IS Project Management?

  • Project management is the time required to manage the people, resources, funding, schedules, and other details of a particular project to get it completed on time and on budget. 
  • Good project management breaks down all the components of a project, organizes them by importance and order, and sets out clear-cut responsibilities and timelines for the execution of each part of the project.
  • A project manager (PM) keeps an eye on the “big picture” to make sure all of the individual components of a project come together successfully and coordinates the work of the linguists, software engineers, and other translation professionals who work on each project.

How Does Project Management Help the Translation Process?

For projects that include multiple translation components—audio, visual, web content, etc.—or translation into multiple languages, project management is essential. However, even smaller translation jobs can benefit from having a project manager to ensure consistency, facilitate communication, and coordinate the overall execution and delivery.

Consistency

A translation PM makes sure that each individual project harmonizes with a company’s branding and voice and is consistent with all of its other content assets. He or she will make sure that each project is completed using the client’s “style guide” of preferred practices, expressions, and translations, so it fits seamlessly into the company’s overall long-term strategy. Being able to work with a project manager allows a translation provider to build a relationship with each company, which in turn enables smoother, easier, more consistent deliverables in that company’s preferred formats and specifications.

Communication

Using in-country translation and localization teams is a fantastic way to help ensure each project resonates most effectively with each local market, but it can be logistically difficult to manage teams in various time zones around the world! A project manager helps organize disparate resources, ensuring they work together and communicate with each other—and with client representatives—both effectively and efficiently.

Coordination

Perhaps most importantly, project management ensures each project is professionally completed, troubleshot, and organized so it stays on schedule and on budget. Even if every component of a translation and localization project is executed perfectly, everything doesn’t always work perfectly together.

Having a PM to organize and coordinate the overall project reduces turnaround time, mistakes, cost overruns, and delays and allows clients the peace of mind of knowing that they can count on prompt delivery of a perfectly executed project.

The Takeaway: Why Do You Need Project Management?

Project management comes in all shapes and sizes to benefit all kinds of projects, from those that need tighter control and more stringent processes to those that only need processes sufficient to self-manage and execute the project to meet the deadlines and quality standards.

Project management processes can be a game changer in the quality of end product and the time of delivery. Effective project management processes help ensure that each and every project is completed with high-quality, accurate translation consistent with your brand’s unique voice. 

Matthew Grotenstein

Matt’s expertise in global business communication, translation technology, and software localization is put to good use as Acclaro’s Vice President of Client Development. He leads a team of seasoned sales professionals to understand client challenges and provide smart solutions, drawing insight from an extensive background in international communication. Before joining Acclaro, Matt co-founded several industry-leading software and finance companies and led U.S. business development for the Switzerland-based translation firm, CLS Communication. He sits on the Board of the translation industry non-profit Red-T, while offering guest lectures at the Baruch College School of Communication.

Matt has a penchant for James Bond films, and a hidden talent for reciting lyrics to almost any song (with a special affinity for 90s gangster rap). Living in Boston provides plenty of opportunity for skiing, sailing, hiking, and puddle jumping to new countries. His bumper sticker for life? “My other office is a sailboat.”