Localization Project Managers: The Unsung Heroes
It is an ordinary workday for everyone, but for localization project managers, things are slightly different. Every working day for him/her is a new day to be a hero and save the day. It’s not only because their working days are long and super busy, but because what they have to go through throughout the day is uniquely impressive. They are basically the cornerstone for every project. They are entitled to oversee each step in their projects from start to finish.
The localization project manager faces many challenges. They may need to launch several localized products in different global markets/languages and they probably need to do so yesterday. The tasks may include the organization of internal teams who could be located anywhere around the world, selection of outside localization specialists, management of linguistic, technical and quality control (QC) plus coordination with in-country stuff and management of cost and motivation of team members and the list goes on and on…
That is why the Localization project managers might also be known by some other titles: the Rock Stars, the Samaritans, the protagonists, but we call our project managers heroes anyways. Lingering question on everyone’s mind now would be; why localization project managers are the heroes.
The answer is as sophisticated as the nature of their job. Localization project managing is a do-it-all kind of job. Localization projects constitute of various stages, teams, requirements, and resources; and while many people are assigned for various tasks to get the job done, it only seems logical that one person is responsible for scoping, executing and delivering localization projects while taking care of several miscellaneous tasks that could be involved along the way. Therefore, the claims that localization project managing is just another monotonous behind-the-office job are quite unfair. In fact, this job goes beyond some office work, because localization project managers are not confined to place or time.
Curious enough? Now, let us explore a day in the life of a localization project manager.
Days of a localization project manager are a bit unusual. The days start with how yesterday ended up at. Localization project managers start with checking progress made on yesterday’s projects. They have a schedule to adhere to, a timely delivery and a commitment to stick to. So, obviously, first thing is e-mails; they are a priority in the to-do list. Localization project managers check for urgent and important messages, respond, and deliver updates. They manage task assignments, going over the status of projects, change requests, time sheets, schedules, and budget consumption.
Shortly after that, it’s time to leave the office and have some walk. Yes, you got that right! Yet, for localization project managers, walks mean taking rounds, doing some catch-ups, addressing any concerns from the teams and departments, and ensuring that all in place.
The Project Managers pride themselves with projects running smoothly, but sometimes days are unpredictable, and abrupt changes and unexpected critical issues come up. Schedules and deadlines can be a bit aggressive. That’s when our Project Managers step in; they study the issues reported, face the challenges and risks resulting, and provide proper settlements to any issue. In that sense, they communicate with the clients and their teams, making sure to adapt a positive attitude in any circumstances around.
Localization Project Managers Today’s Plans
Time for a break? Not even close. While some projects are in progress, some are due and some others are just about to start. Localization project managers communicate with clients and decide on taking up new tasks and projects. These decisions, however, aren’t to be taken haphazardly. Our Project Managers take this duty upon their shoulders to study how much they can take in the time being. They contemplate their options, estimate the time-frame, design, develop budget and resources, and then approve.
Now, with a new project, clients have specific requests. Localization project managers don’t just hand over the project to the teams and departments. They are liaisons between the clients and production teams including translators, DTP (Desktop Publishers), Business Development, Technical, R&D…etc. That makes them the first ones to get started with the project. The first step is to acquire a clear vision of the clients’ demands to be able to adapt the teams’ responsibilities in accordance with those demands.
Every day’s Mantra: Cost, Deadline and Quality
The main thing with localization in general is that it always comes in as the last step straight before the actual launching of any product/service. There is always a solid plan for launching each and every product but time is not always a very close friend and delays are often a strong subject to occur during the development stage. That’s why there’s always rush and pressure on timelines and L10n projects have to be swiftly dealt with throughout the different levels in order to achieve short turnaround times while maintaining the best quality outcome.
The multitasking, detail-oriented Translation Project Managers have a yet another superpower. This comes in the name of mastering a balance in an arduous equation for any project: handling the suitable cost with the best quality in client’s deadline, only to meet this client’s objectives. In other words, it is the Bermuda project triangle. This is every day’s mantra for a localization project manager; a daily responsibility to keep an eye for those three elements to be on the same pace. Localization project managers are keen on managing time the best way possible so that they optimize the quality of production while getting cost under control. If that duty does not require a superhero, we do not know what else would.
Once all these mappings and planning are delicately designed, another necessary part of the day comes: meetings! Localization project managers cannot do without meetings. They are the launch pads, the bargain counters, and even more. In these meetings, localization project managers start to assign, instruct, support, and supervise localization teams, language specialists, desktop publisher, localization engineers, and sales team so that the new project is put into action, while others are monitored and followed up.
Call It a Day
Localization project managers finally make it to the end of the day. And let’s face it, it’s been a fast-paced all-busy long day, but for those Project Managers, it’s been stimulating and rewarding. Since, they are the first ones to put their hands to starting a project; they make sure they are the last ones to leave the office. They wrap-up their work, they make sure their to-do lists are all checked, all emails are replied to, and all schedules are right on track.
It only seems obvious that Project Management is the best fitting description for people like localization project managers who are versatile enough to take up this job, this commitment, and be up to the responsibilities entitled to them.
If you are willing to have a business partner who is also a superhero and willing to provide an efficient service for you, get in contact with us.