The demand for localization services is growing continuously, and the localization industry is expected to hit $73.6 billion by 2025. The rapid business globalization and pandemic have unlocked tons of opportunities for the translation industry. Localization plays a major role in building a strong connection with target audiences and creating personalized brand experiences. Businesses around the world use localization and translation services to bridge the gap between diversified cultures.
However, managing localization projects comes with a lot of challenges and it is not an easy job. You need the right expertise and advanced tools to manage the suppliers, budget, and expectations. It is critical for every business to have a dedicated person take charge of all localization tasks. That’s why it is always recommended to hire a localization project manager to effectively handle the localization workflow and manage the day-to-day operations. Read this article to find out the worth of localization managers.
Who is a Localization Project Manager?
A localization project manager is a person responsible for managing the overall translation and localization workflow. He/she is in charge of the resources, and budget allocated to the localization project and gives commands to other team members to perform their tasks. Following the budget and schedules, a project manager organizes and executes the localization workflow. Your project manager is accountable for delivering the desired localization results within a specific time. They manage the localization teams and are responsible to maintain effective communication between all stakeholders. All in all, a project manager is responsible for the failure and success of your localization project.
Let’s have a close look into the job responsibilities and significance of project managers and how they can help businesses achieve their localization goals.
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 & 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 daily localization workflow, eliminate potential issues and ensure a smoother translation process.
Key Characteristics of 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.
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 with the tools and equipment used in localization processes. You must hire someone with deep technical business and industry knowledge, so translation processes can be improved.
Effective Communication Skills
Project managers also bridge the communication gap between localization project stakeholders, including localization teams, clients, and contractual employees. He must have good communication skills and enable open communication between in-house employees, freelancers, clients, and other stakeholders.
The project manager must know to prioritize the translation tasks and eliminate all the potential risks. He must evaluate each task, assess the risk, and prioritize it to achieve desired outcomes without any delays.
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 audiences. Having a project manager who is culturally aware helps you generate culturally appropriate translations that would resonate with natives.
Responsibilities of Project Managers
From streamlining localization operations to managing the resources, budget, and team, a project manager is responsible for all aspects of your localization project. Following are mentioned the major responsibilities and job descriptions of a project manager taking care of localization projects.
Planning & Execution
- Responsible for all localization processes, including development, detailed planning, executing, and finalizing the project.
- Proactively participate in building localization strategy, assembling the localization team, and managing other stakeholders in the localization project.
- Auditing each process, eliminating the potential errors, and making timely improvements.
Research & Innovation
- Use advanced localization tools and technologies to monitor the localization team’s performance and overall workflow.
- Make use of advanced AI systems to enhance the employees’ productivity and achieve higher efficiency in managing translation tasks.
- Collaborate with all international and external stakeholders to enable effective communication among localization teams, project managers, and clients.
- Coordinate with contractual employees, freelancers, and other external resources and partners.
- Define standards of quality and assuring the quality of translations for the localization content.
- Create glossaries, and style guides in collaboration with linguist experts to assist professional translators in generating high-quality, in-context translations.
Monitoring Risks & Performance
- Measure all potential risks involved in the localization process and employ different means to optimize the operations.
- Keep things in control and strike the balance between localization expenses and the project’s overall budget.
- Define KPIs, analyze the performance metrics, and provide info related to ROI on all localization investments.
As you can see, there is a long list of tasks managed by project managers, and when you don’t have a PM in place, it does affect your localization outcomes. Especially, for big companies handling large-scale localization projects, it is imperative to have a project manager for successful localization project management.
How can Project Managers achieve Better Results?
Automated Translation Processes
Translation process speed has a huge impact on localization project outcomes and overall client satisfaction. It is also important for project managers to use advanced TMS systems for automated translation operations and streamlined workflow. Traditional translation management would only enhance the compilations and mistakes in the translations. There are many advanced AI-powered systems available that can help manage translations with minimal human involvement. As most of the tasks are managed by machines, there are fewer chances of errors. So, the project manager must employ such systems to reduce the workloads on employees and enhance their work efficiency.
Effective communication between all stakeholders in the localization project is critical for successful project management. A project manager must ensure good communication and collaboration between all team members to avoid confusion and keep things transparent. As most companies shift their workload to freelance employees, it is important to have a collaboration between in-house and external teams to achieve high efficiency. Moreover, by using advanced communication tools, and developing smart strategies, the project manager can reduce the communication gap and create a more interactive work environment for teams, partners and clients.
Now, this is something not many businesses would practice while doing localization. They assume that outsourcing will add to their localization expenses and may exceed their budget. Which is not correct. Outsourcing your localization task to contract-based employees or freelancers is critical for your business’s global growth. When your business is in a growing phase, its translation demand and localization processes also increase rapidly.
Moreover, to cope with the changing demand of business, it is significant to outsource your work to reduce employee workload. A smart project manager empathizes with their team and never burdens them. He knows that in the end, quality is all that matters, and it can only be achieved when your employees are performing well. To manage the increasing localization workloads, outsourcing is the best way to deal with it. Overloading your employees would only result in poor performance and lack of productivity
Advanced Quality Assurance
Translation quality is a critical indicator of your localization project success. One of the many reasons why companies hire project managers is their ability to deliver high-quality outcomes. They keep the translation workflow optimized, make timely improvements, run multiple quality assurance tests, proofread the translations. PM makes sure that the finalized translations are error-free, accurate, in-context, and meets the brand expectations. Project managers also use tools like translation memory, glossaries, and other quality assurance systems to ensure high-quality translations.
Last, but certainly not least, ensuring the security of data and information to be translated is also important. Especially when you are using cloud-based TMS for translation, there will be more chances of data breaches and hacking. It is the responsibility of the project manager to keep the data protected by performing advanced security measures. If you are managing a client’s localization project, it is important to ensure data security to build your positive reputation as a trusted agency.
In this article, we have discussed the significance of project managers, their job responsibilities, and the things they must do to achieve better localization results. If you want to do some serious localization, you better have a professional project manager by your side. 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 businesses. So, it’s time to put your localization efforts in the right direction and get things in control by hiring an experienced localization project manager.