A Day in the Life of a Translation Services Project Manager

  |  April 4, 2018

The project manager is a crucial player in the translation services process.

Do you spend your whole day thinking about translation services? Probably not, but that’s because the project management team at International Language Services does it for you!

You might be unaware that ILS assigns a dedicated and responsive translation project manager to every client, who sees that client through from the project’s beginning to its successful completion. The project manager has a clear understanding of your project requirements and upholds our quality assurance standards and client services guarantee.  

And, as you work with this individual over time, he or she develops a keen sense of your organization’s specific needs and the nuances relevant to your projects. In effect, your ILS project manager becomes a valued extension of your company’s team.

It’s the project manager’s job to know everything about your project—and to keep it on track for timely delivery. Your project manager can be found wearing multiple hats: business person, scheduler, communication expert, director, quality control manager. Acting like the hub of a wheel, your project manager is your single point of contact—coordinating all of the resources assigned to your translation project, no matter how many details are involved or how many languages you need—keeping the wheel turning smoothly until your project is delivered.

Our project managers have a wealth of translation and linguistics experience and nuanced understanding of the regions, languages, and industries on which they focus.

It can be difficult for clients to understand exactly what a project manager does. But read on for a peek at a day in the life of a translation services project manager.

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How Translation Services Utilize Project Management

Translation projects are often complex, and no two projects are exactly the same. Without a doubt, one of the most crucial elements of outstanding translation services is the project manager.

Here at International Language Services, our project managers handle a vast array of topics, projects, file formats, and services.

Project managers spend much of their time responding to client inquiries, working with translators and editors on your project, and overseeing multiple language translation projects, working through the details of each particular project. They are experts at communicating with clients as well as monitoring the translation team to keep everything on track and to address any project-related issues.

ILS project managers all have a meticulous attention to detail, dedication to the work, and an ability to keenly manage every aspect of a project. No matter if your project is simple or complex, our project managers are dedicated to ensuring that it is completed to your satisfaction.

Project managers at ILS work closely with our clients. You’ll know exactly who your project manager is and will interact with him or her as an important resource on your translation team. Client relationships are at the forefront of the translation services we provide, and exceeding your expectations is our goal.

The project manager assigned to your project will coordinate with you to determine an appropriate timeline that is realistic for our translators and meets your schedule.

What a Translation Services Project Manager’s Day Looks Like

It might seem like our translators do all the work, and the project managers just oversee the translation process. But there is more to their role than you may realize.

A quality project manager will be able to juggle multiple projects while remaining extremely organized and ensuring that everyone else is accomplishing their tasks in a timely manner.

Below is a snapshot of a typical day for our project managers. It highlights the diverse work that a localization project manager performs on a regular basis. Each day is different, although the core components of client relations are always top priority.

Morning

Planning

ILS project managers begin their work day by checking for inquiries from clients and completed files or questions that arrived from translators overnight. They organize and prioritize tasks against deadlines, making sure that no detail falls through the cracks. Organization and the ability to manage tight deadlines are highly crucial skills when working in localization project management.

Coordinating New Projects

At International Language Services, we expect our project managers to run the show. In order to do that, they have to be aware of every little nuance relating to your project—and others!

Our project managers invest time familiarizing themselves with every detail of your specific translation project. Projects can have many, many moving parts, and the technical project managers we employ will make sure that they don’t miss a single one.

The process begins with an initial file review and analysis—taking steps to clarify the project scope and details. Because every project is different, every one requires its own timeline and approach to ensure it is executed to meet your exact requirements.

The localization project manager on your project will be hyper-aware of the scope and timeframe allotted. Any deviations from the plan will be carefully calculated and assessed to determine their impact on the continued progress of the project.

Upon your authorization, it’s the ILS project manager who assigns the translation team to your project, based on the languages required and subject matter involved. Once the project begins, your translation services project manager remains involved with the project until completion.

Afternoon

Answering Project Questions

The ILS project managers work tirelessly to ensure top quality projects, delivered on time. To do so, it’s imperative that they respond quickly to project questions from the translation team. Whether questions are terminology-related or involve some other detail, there are plenty of moving parts to keep track of for each individual project. The project manager is tasked with knowing them all as well as being the point person for questions from both the client and the internal team.

Project Timing & Budget

ILS project managers work with clients and our internal team to ensure that the project scope is well-defined and that the timeline and budget are realistic. Quality control and making good on delivery commitments are key priorities since ILS clients rely on receiving their projects correct and on time.   

This sometimes requires that the project manager negotiate special favors or expedited timelines for clients in a hurry. They do their best to ensure that everyone is happy with the process and the final project.

Overview of Current Projects

A project manager’s responsibilities are all centered on completing your projects as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible. It is his or her responsibility to deliver impeccable quality and to meet all project commitments. The level of organization and multitasking required to keep track of all the details cannot be overstated.

Without this vital attention to detail, the outcome of your translation services project might fall short of your expectations. Project managers work to ensure that everyone is on the same page before the project begins and throughout the project translation process.

Current Project Updates

Our project managers are dedicated to ensuring that your project is run your way, which means making adjustments to suit your needs and guaranteeing that your final delivered files will be impeccable.

For multi-language projects, the translation teams can get rather large. Project managers keep everyone on track and all of the languages moving together from one step of the translation process to the next.

Project managers that work at ILS coordinate with their ILS production assistant to ensure that everyone is on task. They answer any questions the ILS translators, editors, and formatters might have and provide updates to the client, as needed.

It’s the role of the translation services project manager to oversee the final in-house quality review before the project is completed and sent to the client.

Organizing Your Project From Start to Finish

The project manager assigned to your project will oversee the entire translation services process for your initial project and any future projects. Because he or she gets to know your business, your terminology, and your goals intimately, your project manager is well-positioned to deliver exactly what you need.

The project managers at ILS are accountable for all elements of our ISO quality process. They prioritize providing quality, on-time delivery, and ensuring client satisfaction. If any last minute changes come through or the client requests a project expedite, the project managers handle it.

At the conclusion of your project, your ILS project manager updates your translation memory, so that we can use your completed translations to get a jump-start on your next project. He or she will also work with you to resolve any post-project questions about your files or to manage any in-country input you may receive about the translation.

From preparation and translation to editing and formatting, the project manager is the supervisory expert for your project’s translation.

End-of-Day Round-up and Preparing for Tomorrow

At the end of each day, our project managers double-check that all time-sensitive matters have been addressed. They coordinate communications with our translators, worldwide, to use time differences to our advantage and get needed updates or completed files overnight. They wrap up the day by scheduling their to-do list for the following day.

Organization is key, and as the ILS project managers have decades of experience, they know all the ins and outs of making your translation project run smoothly.

Your project manager will be with you from the beginning of your project to the end to facilitate the translation process. You will work with the same individual for your future projects.

That way, he or she can get to know your company’s specific needs and employ a consistent translation team who learns your products and your terminology preferences. When you work with ILS, you can rest assured that you’ll have a dedicated, responsive translation project manager to ensure your projects progress smoothly and efficiently.