Localization is a complicated process that requires collaboration between multiple departments and teams across the world. That’s where project managers come in. Localization project managers handle all parts of a translation project from beginning to end. Over the lifecycle of a project, they’ll end up wearing a lot of hats. Sometimes their work can feel like several different, totally unexpected, completely unrelated jobs rolled into one. Read on to learn some of the jobs localization project managers do every day, but can’t exactly put on LinkedIn.
Translation projects have a lot of components that have to be carefully considered. Project managers are responsible for carefully planning every aspect of a translation project in order for it to run as smoothly as possible. From crafting timelines and calculating budgets to selecting team members, project managers do it all. A good project manager has to draft the perfect blueprint for a project to become a success.
A project manager has to get down to the “nuts and bolts” of the project, mapping out all the requirements and resources that will make it possible to execute and track the project: How many and what types of languages will they be working on? What software will be used? What are the parameters needed to make the software work?
When building their team, project managers have to decide on the proper headcount required based on the size and timeframe of a project, then assemble their construction crew of linguists, translators, engineers, and subject matter experts to get the job done. A good project manager has a vision for their team but is flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of their customer.
At the end of the day, a project manager builds a spectacular system that makes everything run smoothly.
Managing multiple projects in multiple languages with team members from around the world isn’t exactly a piece of cake. Localization project managers often have to juggle several different aspects of a project at once – assisting team members, developing timelines and budgets, meeting customer demands, addressing technical issues – and all that before lunch.
Translation projects have so many moving parts, it can make a mere mortal’s head spin.
Being able to multitask and manage multiple components of a project at once is critical to the success of a project. The trick to keeping everything up in the air? Great project managers are flexible and incredibly organized. They take a proactive approach to communication and planning. And most importantly, they always keeping their eye on the ball.
Because a project manager is the middleman between translation agencies, vendors, and companies, they are usually the first to smell smoke when something is going wrong. In some ways, the project manager acts as a “smoke detector” that senses early warning signs of issues that can affect project budget or delivery date. They mitigate project risk by putting out fires and settling disputes. The best among them are skilled problem solvers and peacekeepers.
Let’s face it – to pull it all together at the end of the day, project managers need to be faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive.
The project manager is the single dedicated point of contact for everyone on a translation project – the one you can call at 3 AM when your project has hit a roadblock. Project managers are available 24/7 to blast through any critical issues that may occur.
Ultimately, they take on the responsibility for delivering your project on time, on budget, and on quality, saving you from sleepless nights worrying about deadlines.
Being a project manager is like having four crazy jobs rolled into one. Think you have what it takes? Check out our training Guide Translation and Localization Project Management to get started today.