Why Project Managers are a Critical Piece of the Translation Process

Marketing, Translation Services

When you need a high-quality translation for your company, working with a professional language team is crucial. But it can be overwhelming to try and manage all the moving pieces yourself. You need someone qualified to manage each step of the project for you to ensure the best possible outcome for your translation.

This is where translation project managers come in.

From the moment the project manager receives your request for a new translation, several pieces of the translation process begin moving.

The success or failure of your translation project lies with the translation team handling your material, to be certain, but its true success falls on the shoulders of the project manager handling your project.

This project manager is the person responsible for making sure your translation is handled by the right linguistic team(s), within your agreed-upon timeline, and the one who delivers the best possible version of your translation so you can feel confident distributing it to your target audience.

A project manager is a critical piece of the translation puzzle.

What does a project manager do once you submit your translation request?

Translation project managers oversee your project from start to finish.

This means that as soon as you submit a new translation request, they immediately begin planning the best ways to make your project a success.

A project manager is your primary contact who can help determine your specific needs for each project.

Do you need a letter of authenticity or a certificate of accuracy to accompany the translation? Desktop publishing? Someone to review the final product on your website once the translation is complete? A signed affidavit signifying that the translation is true and correct to the best of their knowledge?

A translation project manager will work with you to provide a realistic timeline for completing the project and provide a quote for services, working with you directly to make sure you get exactly what you need.

They will review the content that needs to be translated to see if there are any initial questions or issues with the files or content.

They will also begin assembling a team of vetted and specialized linguists and other professionals who can handle your specific project requirements, checking to make sure they are available to handle your project within the timeline you need.

Project managers are familiar with the linguists they work with in each language pair and will know which linguists will provide the best possible translation based on the type of content you need translated.

If their go-to language teams are unavailable or if they do not already have a team assembled for the type of work you are requesting, a project manager will begin recruiting right away.

They are skilled at recruiting and vetting possible candidates for a new translation team so you can rest assured that only appropriately skilled linguists will be working on your content.

All of this is typically performed before you even sign off on the translation work so that, once you are ready to do so, the teams are in place and ready to begin working to bring your translation to life.

What are the translation project manager’s responsibilities once the project is underway?

Once you come to an agreement with the project manager about the services you need and are ready to sign off on the project, the translation project manager is the one who keeps your project moving to ensure all needs and deadlines are met as agreed upon.

The language team(s) they have assembled will be officially assigned the project and begin working on the translation.

Once the translation is complete, the project manager is the one who will review the files to make sure the work is completed as outlined and will make the file pass to the proofreader or editor.

If any member of the translation team has questions regarding the text, the project manager serves as an intermediary between you and the linguists, and they will reach out to you directly to clarify, as needed.

Translation project managers have to be highly organized. If anyone is at risk of delivering their piece of the project late, the project manager will reach out and work with the team(s) to ensure the work is delivered on time for you.

If you need anything additional, like Desktop Publishing or signed paperwork regarding the authenticity of the translation, your project manager will ensure these steps are performed appropriately.

Once the translation team finalizes the translation, the project manager will review the work and manage a quality assurance team and process to ensure that the translation is correct and complete before delivering the finalized translation to you.

If you have any questions after delivery about the translation or the work itself, your project manager will happily answer those for you before creating an invoice for the completed work.

What skill set does a translation project manager need to have?

In order to complete the tasks to successfully manage each project, and because they are often managing several projects simultaneously, a good project manager should be:

–       Highly organized

–       Self-sufficient

–       Flexible

–       Able to multitask

–       Easily adaptable to changes

–       Capable of handling unexpected stressors

–       An efficient communicator

–       Technologically savvy

–       Great at time management

–       An effective leader

Especially during periods where multiple projects are going at once, a translation project manager has to keep up with a wide variety of tasks at the same time.

A good project manager will have the skill set needed to do so without any part of a translation project falling through the cracks. This makes them extremely valuable to the translation process.

Why project managers are critical to a translation’s success

Looking at the roles and responsibilities of a translation project manager, it is easy to see why a good project manager is worth their weight in gold.

Without a skilled project manager handling each step of the process, a project could stall or fail.

A good project manager will keep your project moving, on track, with the right linguists, and on time to meet the deadline you agreed upon.

They are essentially the glue that keeps your project together so you can rest easy.

How working with a translation project manager benefits you

Each step that the translation project manager takes to ensure the success of your project is a step you do not have to worry about handling yourself.

Working with a project manager (and agency!) you can trust means you can feel confident requesting your translation, knowing that what you receive at the end will be professional and correct.

They will make sure each and every project is handled with the highest level of quality and accuracy, while reflecting your brand’s values.

The project manager will also keep a record of translation projects and which teams were utilized for each of them. This means that your future projects can remain consistent in both terminology and style by working with the same teams whenever possible.

Project managers are an often-overlooked but critical piece of the translation process.

Having a qualified translation project manager handle your projects also means you can get back to work doing all the other things that move your business forward.

You can rest assured knowing that the professional translation you receive will help you reach new customers and potentially increase your ROI in markets where your customers do not speak English.

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