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Translation Project Management

What is Project Management (PM)?:
According to the free Online Repository Fact Index based on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (both available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License), Project Management is "the ensemble of activities concerned with successfully achieving a set of goals. This includes planning, scheduling and maintaining progress of the activities that comprise the project. Reduced to its simplest Project Management is the discipline of maintaining the risk of failure at as low a value as necessary over the lifetime of the project. Risk of failure arises primarily from the presence of uncertainty at all stages of a project." Consulting the same resource, a Project is "an undertaking of limited duration in time with a defined outcome. It can also comprises an ambitious plan to define and constrain a future by limiting it to set goals and parameters. The planning, execution and monitoring of major projects sometimes involves setting up a special temporary organization, consisting of a project team and one or more work teams."

What is special to Translation Project Management?:

In addition and extension to general PM, translation projects require a special workflow and include special linguistic and technical issues such as multilingual file conversions and printing, the co-ordination of tasks such as Translation, Independent Editing, DTP (Desktop Publishing), Final Proof Reading (Quality Assurance), Client Review and the Final Delivery to the customer. It also involves document management of the (electronic) source and target applications, reference data, Translation Memories and specialist glossaries (dictionaries), ensuring consistency of style, terminology and structure, and document version control. Turnaround Time (time until project completion) and furthermore the administration of communications between employees, clients and suppliers. In smaller agencies, translation PM might also include accounting. The management of a translation project work flow typically includes:

1.) The preparation of a project including a detailed breakdown of costs and gains for your own business/agency as well as requesting quotations from your vendors/suppliers and the calculation of a competitive offer to your clients which still ensures immediate or at least long-term returns.
2.) Project Scheduling including the initial Turnover (time anticipated until the conclusion of the project) as well as the intermediate and final deadlines for each task.
3.) The co-ordination of the translation and editing (proofreading) team (in house or suppliers/vendors).
4.) Quality Assurance, Testing & Debugging including linguistic reviewing, functionality and usability testing.
5.) Communications with the customer/client, project conclusion and closing, eventually accounting: accounts payable and receivable (invoicing).
6.) In various stages, cultural consulting might be advisable to ensure the success of the translation/localization and thereby customer satisfaction.


© 2003 by Dr. Thomas Wassmer, e-mail: tom at softreviews.org

  Translation & Localization

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