This article is published by Future Trans
in recognition of the crucial role
played by every and each translation project manager
in our translation and localization project team,
whose role is critical to the success of our business.
To put it as straightforwardly as possible, let’s admit that the full automation of translation project management via some type of software is just like the nice story of Aladdin and the Genie ─ just fiction!
Beyond doubt, the human translation project manager can never be replaced by any software, and the role being played by these professionals will always be crucial to the entire localization industry. But logically we should have started with defining what project management is, and, more specifically, what translation and localization project management is; shouldn’t we?!
What is translation and localization project management?
First, what is project management?
According to the definition derived from APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition, project management is the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters.
It’s noteworthy that one of project management’s major distinguishing factors is that it has, unlike general management, a final deliverable and a predetermined, limited timespan (let’s remember this when it comes to the mega translation projects which a translation services provider like Future Trans has carried out, particularly over the past five years).
Then, it’s time to get the drift of what project management in translation and localization projects is. In fact, it comprises many stages ─ including identifying the translation project’s requirements, organizing a project plan, then securing and managing resources to successfully finish and deliver the project.
However, when it comes to the translation project manager, let us define him or her as the champ who works behind the scenes to guarantee that all the phases and aspects of the translation project are proficiently carried out in accordance with the specific parameters of the project.
Why is translation and localization project management important?
Given that a typical translation project process, small or large, usually comprises the stages of pre-production, production and post-production, the translation project manager normally supervises the whole process from A to Z, i.e. from the creation of an initial quote and evaluation of the project specs to the final delivery.
In other words, he or she is the actual link between the client and the entire translation team that guides the project, phase by phase, towards the seventh heaven of final delivery. What happens when any link in the world is cut off, other than a full fiasco?!
As he or she should have an ultra-strong sense of smell, the translation project manager is definitely the person who would always “detect the smoke”, and then send early warning signs of deviations that might affect either the project budget or delivery date.
Furthermore, as companies and brands are increasingly seeking to expand into new foreign markets, demand is growing for larger and more complex translation projects that require such aspects as translation into multiple languages, the use of specialized software for terminology management and probably sometimes, DTP experience. Of course, this type of project is a multistage process involving a variety of phases that won’t work without an expert translation project manager who will professionally supervise the various components of the project and the large team of linguists, engineers, and others. So, it also makes a global difference!
A Day in the Life of a Future Trans Translation Project Manager
To fully understand this area of expertise, we’ve decided to take a shortcut through the real job of Shimaa Othman, Future Trans Translation Project Manager, who talked to us about how it works at Future Trans.
According to Shimaa, her management of translation projects for Future Trans comprises many aspects, including identifying the needs of each translation or localization project, setting up a project plan, then working extensively on securing the resources that will carry out the various tasks of the project. By the way, both Shimaa and her company always call the staff resources “talents”. It seems to be their corporate culture!
Why Future Trans?
Shimaa Othman is most likely a typical Future Trans translation project manager, and yet she’s by no means the whole story of Future Trans’ established reputation in the area of translation and localization project management.
At Future Trans, all translation project managers have had many years of solid experience as professional translators in their native languages ─ an advantage which provides them with a full understanding of the numerous stages and difficulties that might occur in the course of translation and localization projects
Moreover, every and each translation project manager at Future Trans must have a wide range of competencies, including customer-orientation, result-orientation, service-orientation, organization of thinking, care for details, care for quality, excellent communication and full command of multiple languages.
This, however, was about each and every translation project manager at Future Trans; but what about the company itself?
Has anyone said anything about self-explanatory things? And self-evident?!
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