Posted by tayyab_qureshi on October 23, 2023

Localization Project Manager | Key Roles and Characteristics

Localization Project Manager | Key Roles and Characteristics

The localization industry is growing swiftly, and there is a rapid advancement of the latest translation technology. Companies around the world are looking for more effective ways to localize their brand. Considering the current brand needs, traditional localization methods don’t seem relevant anymore. Where there are high opportunities for businesses to grow in global markets, the stakes are even higher with intense competition.

As we know, the global brand identities of companies highly depend on how they go about their localizations. Well, there is a lot that goes into localizing the brand, but nothing is more important than hiring the right project manager. You might have the best tools and resources, but if there is no proactive leader, you will never know how to put everything in place and get the desired results. In this article, we’ll evaluate the role of the project manager and his/her influence in successfully carrying out localization tasks.

Who Is a Localization Project Manager?

A project manager is an integral part of your brand localization project management. They are responsible for carrying out all activities and operations happening throughout the localization project to achieve desirable results. A project manager makes use of advanced technology and ensures an optimized workflow to keep things in control. From managing the budgets and approving the translations to developing new strategies, it is the duty of a project manager to effectively conduct the ongoing localization process and manage everything within the given time schedules.

Why Should Businesses Hire Localization Managers?

Managing localization tasks like developing budgets, allocating resources, commanding people, and making localization strategies aligned with localization goals is a hectic job that requires expertise and knowledge. To avoid complications and streamline the overall localization task, there is a need to hire a person in charge of all of these activities. Moreover, the project manager also takes care of uploading the content, generating translation, quality testing, proofreading and editing, and delivering the content to the client.

Not having a project manager for your localization process leads to a lot of complications and errors, which also affect the overall quality of your localization project outcomes. Project managers carefully watch the daily localization workflow, eliminate potential issues, and ensure a smoother translation process.

Key Characteristics of Localization Project Managers

There are a lot of things that you should consider while looking for a professional project manager based on your unique business needs. However, there are some general characteristics that a project manager must have to smartly take over the localization operations.

1. Sound Technical Capabilities

A PM is someone who understands the technical side of things. He doesn’t just give commands but is also well-versed in the tools and equipment used in localization processes. You must hire someone with deep technical business and industry knowledge so that translation processes can be improved.

2. Effective Communication Skills

Project managers also bridge the communication gap between localization project stakeholders, including localization teams, clients, and freelance translators. He must have good communication skills and enable open communication between in-house employees, freelancers, clients, and other stakeholders.

3. In-Depth Assessment

The project manager must know how to prioritize the translation tasks and eliminate all the potential risks. He must evaluate each task, assess the risk, and prioritize it to achieve the desired outcomes without any delays.

4. Culturally Aware

Cultural Awareness

When it comes to localization, it’s not just about translation management. Your localization has a lot to do with the culture of the target audience. Having a project manager who is culturally aware helps you generate culturally appropriate translations that resonate with natives.

What is the Role of Localization Project Manager

For managing large-scope localization projects, it is important to hire professional project managers who will ensure a seamless flow of operations. Every company has specified particular roles for project managers that may vary depending on the nature of the localization project or the goals of the company. Let’s have a look at the job description and responsibilities of project managers.

1. Developing Informed Strategies 

Your project manager is like the captain of the ship. He makes the rules, gives directions, and makes sure that everything is going well. When it comes to localization project management, developing the right strategies is critical for its success. To develop the right localization strategy, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered by the project manager. It will minimize the risk and maximize the chances of achieving all localization goals.

  • First of all, project managers need to develop robust localization strategies backed by authentic data. For this, they must use a reliable data analytics tool to get statistics regarding customers, industries, and markets.  
  • Executing the localization strategies through proper tracking of the project’s progress. A project manager ensures the transparency of the translation process so that there is no ambiguity in any domain of the project.
  • Getting hold of the entire localization is important to have control over things. So, if things don’t go as you want, you can always change the project direction and make improvements. The project manager constantly scrutinizes the project to identify and mitigate the risks and issues as soon as possible before they get worse.  

2. Managing Translation Workflows

As we know, translation is the most critical part of localization, and it is important to leave no room for mistakes. Translation management is a challenging job, especially if you are targeting multiple regions. You will need regular content translations in multiple languages; you have to make sure that you have all the required tools and resources available.

  • To cope with current localization needs, project managers use new approaches and bring in the latest technology. To keep things smooth, agile, and clear, project managers are responsible for streamlining the translation operations. It would reduce complications and make it much easier for teams to effectively manage their day-to-day tasks.
  • When the need for content translation increases, meeting the deadlines for content publication becomes even more challenging. So, a good project manager knows how to bring together human expertise with the latest technology to manage a heavy workload without making any compromise on quality.
  • Poor file management is a huge trouble in localization project management that could lead to missed files and redundant data. Project managers understand the effective use of technology to reduce manual work and make file management and storage seamless.

3. Enabling Team Collaborations

Lack of communication could be the main reason behind misunderstandings, errors, and even project failure. The localization team is supposed to work collectively toward the accomplishment of project goals. The project manager acts as a binding material among the team, and he brings all teams together to work in collaboration with each other.

Enabling Team Collaborations
  • To fill the communication gaps, project managers should develop an organizational culture that brings people together and involves them in the project. Instead of relying on emails for communication, there should be some more handy real-time communication medium that makes it easier for employees to approach each other.
  • Project managers have to enable seamless communication between internal and external teams. It would allow remote employees to collaborate with in-house employees more conveniently without any delay in response.  
  • Listening to the concerns of employees and getting their feedback is also essential to keeping up the good work. Project managers should be open to all sorts of communication. So employees would feel free to reach out to them whenever any issue occurred.

4. Ensuring Quality & Relevancy 

It is the core duty of the project manager to ensure high-quality outcomes meet the required criteria. He keeps a check on all activities to prevent any gaps in quality or employees cutting corners. Localization Project managers have to perform various quality measures and implement strong policies to avoid any issues related to quality and relevancy.

  • It is important to prevent quality issues in the first place by implementing proper quality assurance methods. There should be a proper screening of all task outcomes, and project managers should approve everything before finalizing.  
  • When it comes to maintaining the quality and consistency of content translations, brand glossaries play a major part in that. Before working on a translation project, project managers must create a brand glossary for that particular project. It will allow all employees to have a clear understanding of the brand’s voice and objectives. This way, you can also ensure that your brand image remains unaltered throughout the project translations.
  • AI-powered QA tools not only help project managers effectively manage their localization projects, but they also improve the overall credibility of their outcomes. Advanced translation management systems contain quality assurance tools that automatically detect the quality of your translations and eliminate errors. It also makes QA testing quite easy and hassle-free.

5. Improving Organization Culture

The job of a project manager is not just to get the job done by hook or by crook. Most managers over-scrutinize their employees and constantly pressurize them to deliver quality that only reduces their productivity. Toxic management takes away the excellence and creativity of employees. So, project management should have the great emotional intelligence to direct the energies and actions of people in the right direction.  

  • The employee feels more satisfied in an organizational culture that is supportive and recognizes their efforts. Micromanagement makes your employees feel frustrated, and they will remain stressed out while doing their jobs. Project managers are meant to calm down the employees of the organization and make sure that employees are at peace and not feeling anxious about anything.
  • An excessive workload is one of the main reasons why employees feel unfulfilled and upset at their jobs. This sort of mental condition stops creativity and good performance. So, project managers should not hesitate to outsource excessive work to a third-party vendor. There is nothing wrong with outsourcing your localization processes. There are many professional localization service providers out there with good experiences that can help you easily get away with task management challenges without piling up extreme work on your employees

6. Innovating & Improving

We are living in a fast-paced world where things can change very rapidly. It is important for project managers to keep up with these changing situations and never shy away from improvements in policies and strategies.

  • As far as localization is concerned, you can’t always play it safe. Especially when you are targeting new markets with dense competition, you have to come up with new policies and methods. There is a lot of trial and error involved in targeting new markets because you never know how things will go or what is best for your brand. There will be mistakes, and the stakes will be high. So, project managers must adopt a proactive approach to project management.
  • The translation industry is rapidly changing, with plenty of technological tools available online to make the whole localization process simple and agile. The project manager must know how to make use of these innovative tools to automate localization project management. Also, make sure you are getting your hands on the best localization management system only, for project management.
  • Trends keep changing, and so do the demands of customers; project managers have to be very mindful of what is happening in the market and adapt themselves accordingly. Resilience to innovation and change would affect your brand’s growth in global markets.

Final Verdict!

A project manager should have strong leadership qualities to take on the responsibilities of a large-scale localization project. With his expertise, emotional intelligence, and experience, a project manager can fuel creativity and higher productivity in his team. Moreover, understanding the role of a project manager can help you hire professional and talented candidates for localization project management jobs.

The project manager would also support your global business expansion by optimizing the localization processes. For large-scale businesses, it is even more critical to hire a professional with fair localization knowledge and understanding of your business. So, it’s time to put your localization efforts in the right direction and get things under control by hiring an experienced localization project manager.

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