Managing translation projects is a task typically approached in a traditional manner. This is normally because the translation agency handling it focuses on linguistics over technology, failing to realize the importance of technology-enabled functions that facilitate the process.
Automation through technology provides valuable streamlining capabilities and eliminates many hidden time sinks via workflows. With these in place, the project manager only needs to intervene when there are exceptions to the regular workflow. This type of exception-based management produces a higher quality translation in a quicker amount of time, saving you thousands of dollars for each significant translation project.
Problems With the Traditional Approach to Managing Translation Projects
When you submit a translation project to a typical translation agency, many complex processes transpire before you get it back. First, the project manager will reach out to ten or twenty of their favorite linguists to discover who is available and wishes to take the job. Once they find suitable candidates, the client will be informed and will need to send the translation kit to the translator. They will acknowledge receipt, review the terms of the job, and get to work. There will likely be a lot of back-and-forth communication—especially if there are errors in the translation. It will then need to go for review with a quality assurance expert. At the conclusion, the client will receive their completed project and upload it to their destination.
There are plenty of opportunities for automation in this process that could make translation more efficient. This is especially true for subsequent jobs, where translated work could be used to inform the translation memory or for computer-aided translation tools. In a traditional environment where every job is treated as a one-off, however, these opportunities are usually missed.
How Exception-Based Management Eliminates Delays
Exception-based management is a means of leveraging technology to cut out manual steps in the translation process. By taking advantage of data and automation, the project manager will eliminate many instances where oversight is needed, especially in these four key areas:
- Translation assignments: In an automated environment, the client’s submission of a job triggers a data-driven candidate selection process. The system automatically assigns the project to the first available translator with the highest likelihood of success using metrics from that linguist’s completed works. This process eliminates the back and forth needed between the candidate pool and the project manager to find the right linguists.
- Workflow: The linguist works on the strings of text within a single central platform. The manager can quickly look at the workflow to see precisely where they are in the process. If there is a delay or something unexpected happens, a notification is triggered and the manager can intervene.
- Repository integration: Completed files can be automatically uploaded through repository integration. Since the content stays within a single system, there’s no confusion over which file is the correct one for uploading. This is also a means of keeping content up-to-date in all languages by automating uploading based on changes to the origin content.
- Security: Scanning files and managing access control can become cumbersome when they’re stored in many different places. By keeping these files in a single repository where download access is limited, security risks are greatly reduced, freeing up the project manager to concentrate on other tasks.
Exception-based management also allows leaders to clearly prioritize their tasks. In a traditional localization project, excess information makes it challenging to understand which tasks are the most critical. When everything is a priority, nothing is. This leads to missed deadlines and inaccurate work.
With a streamlined, automated system, the program is much easier to manage. The only priorities the project manager needs to concern themselves with are the red flags that appear when jobs don’t go as expected—the program handles the rest. Such a strategy allows you to perform a lot more tasks with fewer people.
The key to managing translation projects efficiently is automation. By eliminating many mundane tasks, managers put their efforts where they are most needed—ensuring fast, accurate translation. A localization management platform transforms and combines many of the necessary functions into one turnkey process, allowing leaders to manage many projects simultaneously with ease.
December 1, 2020