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Translation Project Managers: What Do They Do?

You may have worked with numerous translation project managers for your projects. But do you really know what they do? Project managers play important roles in translation projects and their jobs range, but are not limited to, outlining the project scope, planning timelines, identifying the right resources/teams, coordinating during the life cycle of a project and final delivery.

Translation Project Managers’ Tasks

  • Project scoping. Professional project managers begin by gathering the necessary information from the client, including type of localization project (document, website, software or multimedia), number of languages, specific locales, formatting requirements, etc. Once they have acquired the accurate information, the project manager then proceeds to the project planning: budgets, time frames, deliverable formats, resources and schedules.
  • Forming the project service team. Once the project requirements have been determined, the project manager will get the correct team in place, which will consist of language leads, engineers, desktop publishers, etc., led by the project manager, to execute the project by assigning tasks and schedules to each team member.
  • Project kick-off meetings. This includes internal kick-off and client kick-off meetings. The internal kick-off meetings will include all the team members involved in the project to discuss the scope and subject matter research and to anticipate and determine any technical issues and challenges that may arise. During client kick-off meetings, the project manager will brief the client on the process, time frame and schedules, final deliverables and discuss any issues or queries that need clarification from the client.
  • Project Coordination. Project managers are responsible for coordinating effective communication between team members to ensure smooth execution of each step in a project, as well as conveying any questions to the client from the team. It’s very important that a project manager asks the right questions. By doing so, the team may quickly spot project challenges and come up with resolutions.
  • Final delivery. Before delivery of a project, the project manager will need to make sure all the steps planned for the project were executed, there are no pending issues for the delivery and the final deliverables are compliant per the scope.
  • Post Project Evaluation. The project manager will need to provide a summary of the project, in terms of any issues, client feedback, successes, challenges, corrective actions and improvements and document them in the notes for future reference.


Translation project managers are essential for the success of translation and localization projects. The project manager is your point of contact throughout the entire life cycle of a project and they ensure smooth and successful delivery of your projects.