The importance of localization to the success of your organization should not be discounted, and its implementation should not be left to trial and error. Rather, create a localization strategy well in advance of your launch date, if possible—or, at least, well before you actually dive into your localization projects.
There is a lot to do to prepare for successful localization, and you will need that sense of direction. You need to vet translators, you need to align teams and systems, and develop a stable, sustainable workflow. And yes, it is all a rush because it gets harder to implement a localization process after original, translatable content has piled up or if you have to change course after early missteps. Partnering with experienced experts in a localization management platform will help you enjoy the benefits of a localization strategy from the start.
Top Benefits of a Localization Strategy in Action
Experience has shown that the most successful localization systems have traits in common.
Agile software development is practically a given today, and there is no reason why your localization workflow shouldn’t be fast and responsive as well. To some extent, you will achieve this by aligning the teams you work with, eliminating silos, and directing all translation and localization into a single workflow. Nonetheless, the single biggest factor in localization speed is automation. The purely mechanical details of localization—emailing, uploading, downloading, file formatting—take a lot of time, and it can be done faster by a machine. By integrating with a centralized localization platform through an API or command-line interface, all the stakeholders in a localization project are always just one click away from anything they need access to, and they don’t need to babysit the incoming and outgoing content. The minutes everyone saves on handling files quickly adds up to enormous time savings.
Quality management can be a sore spot in localization, especially if you can’t trust that your language service provider (LSP) has properly vetted linguists in the first place. When your localization platform is transparent, you know who’s working on translations at any given time, and you can monitor the progress and how review and feedback processes are tightening up over time as teams get more familiar with your content and the market needs. This same centralized platform also makes linguistic assets—your translation memories, term bases, style guides, and other reference materials—easily accessible to everyone involved so they have no excuse not to lean on these critical tools. And it’s easy to assign stakeholders to keep these assets up to date over time.
As your organization grows, your localization will grow with it. This may mean adding languages, adding additional content to the workflow, and adding stakeholders—requesters, reviewers, translators, and new members of your existing teams. As you evolve, the demands on the system will become more varied and complex, making quality and timeliness potentially vulnerable. A well-designed localization process will be versatile and scalable enough to accommodate all of those innovations without bogging down or breaking down. With a centralized platform for all of your translation and localization projects, systems that work well for just a few languages should work equally well for 20 or more languages and compounding collaborators.
A comprehensive localization system holds a wealth of information that can be utilized in high-level decision making. You can track spending by language or translation type and, by comparing workflow to cost, use those findings to evaluate your tech’s performance. You can identify cost overruns and evaluate the performance of the LSP as well. These data will help make budgeting more precise and identify areas of possible cost savings. The improvement in budgeting, along with the managerial insights provided by a centralized platform and the potential for improving workflows within your organization, can make localization a driver of fiscal and organizational optimization. Of course, all of this depends on finding a transparent localization partner committed to including you in the finer details of this complex process.
Finding a Localization Partner That Will Deliver the Benefits
To create a localization process that reaches its full potential, you need an LSP that can deliver the right amount of technology and the expertise to use it to its best advantage. You can look for the same values in your LSP that you will create in your localization process:
Agility—Besides providing top-notch technology, your LSP should tailor it to your evolving content and workflow.
Quality—You should work with your LSP to set quantifiable quality standards and expect radical transparency so you can keep an eye on the progress.
Scalability—If your LSP looks as though it’s scrambling to keep up with you, it’s a bad sign for the road ahead. Experienced localizers know what it takes to develop scalable solutions so your ecosystem will be just as good at handling 20 languages as it is at handling 2.
Trackability—Your LSP should be able to provide the data you need, and that data should give you a clear window onto your ROI. Together with your LSP, set performance goals, and keep up with tracking and troubleshooting to continue evolving your localization ecosystem for the better.
Bureau Works provides comprehensive localization services based on its automated, centralized localization platform. With our high-quality technology and localization experts ready to advise and assist you, we can ensure that you have the best localization experience possible. Contact our team to get started and to reap the benefits of a killer localization strategy.
April 9, 2020