Translation project management is not only important in a translation agency or in an international company with clients located in various parts of the world but is also a skill that any freelance translator will have to perform on many occasions to achieve effective and organized work.
What does project management involve?
Project managers typically handle the following tasks:
- Contacting the client
- Extracting texts in different formats
- Handling various TAO tools (creating translation projects and packages, managing translation memories or terminological databases, etc.)
- Contacting translators for each project
- Vendor management (always looking for new translators to collaborate with)
- Creating budgets
- Managing invoices
In general, these are the main tasks that a Project Manager (PM) usually takes care of. However, depending on the agency or often the client, these tasks may vary or even new ones may appear.
What are the main difficulties of the work as a PM?
Each project is different, so it may pose different challenges for the entire team, both for the PM and for translators and reviewers. The key is to treat each assignment individually, analyze its characteristics before starting, determine what we will need to start it, and anticipate possible problems that the translation or review process may cause.
- Delivery deadlines (they can be very tight and long at the same time)
- Large volume projects (they are complex as they often require more than one translator to meet the deadline)
- Coordination when several translators collaborate on the same project
- Difficulties in finding an available translator/interpreter for last-minute assignments
How is a translation project organized?
- Analysis of the content of the received files
- Deciding which professionals we will need to carry out the project in question (translators, reviewers, layout specialists, etc.)
- Verifying client annotations (language combinations, glossaries, specific notes about the target text, type of translation, etc.)
- In case the client needs the translation for a specific date, we must ensure that we can offer the translation for the indicated date by consulting in advance with the professionals we will collaborate with on each project. In any case, a program for the different tasks must be planned before preparing the budget to avoid possible errors in setting the delivery deadline.
- Preparing a budget (economic cost, delivery time, payment method, urgency cost, etc.)
- Once the budget is accepted by the client, the translation process is initiated, and subsequently, the revision process.
- After the completion of this process, the documents go through a final quality control before delivery to detect possible flaws.
- Delivery to the client.
Surely, this procedure sounds familiar to you whether you are a PM or a freelancer. This is because the freelance translator also carries out this procedure with their work, albeit on a smaller scale and in a different order. However, the freelance translator has added value: only one person is in charge of this entire process, while in agencies, it involves the work of a group of professionals.
I can help you if you need project management services in German, Spanish, or English. I have experience in this sector in all three languages and with various computer-assisted programs for project management.
Do you have more questions about project management?
Is your company expanding internationally, and do you need the services of a project manager?
Feel free to contact me!