How to Effectively Manage a Translation Project

Several translation agencies have recently undertaken the task of dealing with the constraints of traditional methods of project management. The objective is to improve the efficiency of their work, and to create a loyal client base. In order to achieve this, there needs only to be a more simplified roadmap or a clearer picture of the course of action to be taken•


Reassess the Methods Involved in Project Management

To better understand the shortcomings that arise during certain translation projects, the different stages of a translation project must be examined. These stages are usually determined by the Project Manager according to the specifications of the project. However, when doing this, it is necessary to think critically so as not to negatively impact the performance of the linguists who will take part in the project. In fact, certain stages may well be unnecessary and may even slow down the business’ rate of productivity. To illustrate this, consider a client who wishes to localize his e-commerce site. The client would naturally want to prioritize the translation of the product descriptions, and would thus be less particular about the rest of the website. Despite this, some translators, by concentrating on the entire text to be translated, expend the same amount of effort on each section of the text to be localized. Consequently, if there is no classification of data as it relates to priority, data management may prove to be inefficient and may affect the quality of the finished product. This is particularly the case when the Project Manager does not take into account the hierarchy of data. In short, too many resources, both material and human, will be unnecessarily utilized. This in turn results in increased costs and what can be described as an onerous task for the agency’s employees•

Optimizing Translation

There are several ways to circumvent the difficulties and obstacles associated with translation through sheer optimization. The most important way to optimize a translation is through simplification. Though language providers may be reluctant to simplify translations, doing so has its advantages. Firstly, it is a necessary step in reducing the tediousness of work faced by employees. Most businesses boost their production flow thanks to computer-based tools such as automatic translations generated from previous translations. This proves to be especially beneficial when there is sizeable content to be translated. These businesses often utilize programming interfaces for more time efficiency before publishing the content. An agency with access to computer-based tools is naturally able to work more quickly during the translation phase. The simplification process also includes the planning stage of the project. Agencies which do not have computer-based tools may benefit from a system of hierarchy and prioritization in order to progress in their tasks. Human resources may be reduced depending on the level of priority given to the content by the client. In the case of hierarchy of semantic groups, segments or extracts to be translated, quality assurance is less needed. Most of the innovation lies in how the agency adapts to each project : the parameters in the planning of the project (and programming for those agencies that have software) will be constantly modified.

Ornella Andriamanantsoa

Translated by Giselle Antoinette Dunbar

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