When it comes to expanding your business into international markets, studies show that 72.4% of consumers are more likely to engage with a business when information is presented in their native language. This makes localization a crucial tool and a smart investment. In addition to strengthening your brand, localizing your material will foster your clients’ trust and pique the interest of potential clients.
Each company will have its own specific needs depending on the market it belongs to, its audience, and the type of material they want to localize among other things. For each of these different scenarios, there’s a type of localization project with its own workflow and scope. It’s the responsibility of the project managers (PM) to choose the one that best suits the client’s needs.
This blog aims to describe and define the role of a project manager on website localization projects.
Website Translation Basics
To understand the role of the PM in website localization projects, we should start by defining it. In a nutshell, website localization is the process of adapting a website to the culture and language of users in a target market to provide the most useful and relevant experience for them.
Website Localization at GPI
If you’ve decided to localize your website, we at GPI will help you get started on this and take your firm to another level.
GPI has experienced and specialized professionals, from project managers to developers and localization engineers, that will guarantee that your website is displayed in your desired target languages with culturally relevant, relatable, and accessible content.
GPI offers custom WCMS (web content management system) Connectors to a variety of web content management systems in order to streamline localization workflows and access to translation project information across your enterprise. Enterprise-grade connector plugins are easily installed and uninstalled with a few clicks, and they are tested and supported for FREE as part of our website translation services. The benefit is that your team continues to work with the system they are familiar with, and we establish a best practice to work with your CMS to make creating and maintaining a multilingual website seamless.
To learn more about our Website Localization services, please visit our Plugin and Connectors page.
The Role of the Project Manager
Before the Project Starts
Clear Communication with the Client: Scope
The PM takes ownership of a client’s request from the very beginning, even before it becomes a project. The PM is in constant communication with the client from the very first day. They communicate to learn the client’s expectations and even guide them through the localization process based on their needs. The PM is in charge of ensuring the project scope is clearly defined, and that everything is ready to start when the client decides to give them the green light.
Some of the issues to clarify prior to project start are:
- How will the content be extracted from the website? Is it going to be through one of our connectors, will GPI do a manual crawling of the client website, or will the client provide all the files?
- If we have access to the client’s site, do they want us to publish the translated content on our end or should we deliver them the translated files and they’ll import them?
- In any of the scenarios, will the client want GPI to perform a QA of the site once everything is published?
- If the client is to provide feedback, how will they send it?
Once the above and any other necessary points are clear, the project manager needs to ensure that the chosen workflow meets the client’s expectations.
All the phases of the project, together with their corresponding deadlines, should be defined before launching it. Failure to complete this will jeopardize the outcome of the project in terms of quality, timeline, and budget.
Addressing Accurate Resources
Once the client’s requirements are clear and the workflow has been defined accordingly, it’s time to assign the specialized linguistic team. This will include a translator, editor, and proofreader; and depending on the size of the project and the deadlines, may include more than one translator.
The Project Manager will consider the field of expertise required for the project and subject matter and assign subject-matter experts (SME) for the translation team. Choosing a resource that has experience doing Online QA, for example, is crucial for website localization projects.
During The Project Lifecycle
Once the green light has been given to start the project, the PM will proceed to launch it.
They’ll provide the designated linguistic teams with all the necessary information to start the project, including reference materials, glossaries, style guides, the translation memory, and credentials for Online QA of website projects.
All necessary information about the subject matter, deadlines, and scope also needs to be clearly stated in this step.
Proactive Communication with Different Stakeholders
One of the PM’s biggest responsibilities is to ensure effective communication among the different stakeholders during the Website Localization Project’s lifetime. This includes:
- Clients: Provide updates to clients, receive updated requests, and to answer any queries or concerns they may have.
- External resources: Manage language teams to solve any problems they may have, and to provide training for new tools/processes.
- Internal resources: Assign tasks to the corresponding person/department for any internal processes to ensure that the project follows the schedule, and to discuss any challenges and how to address them.
Once the files have gone through all the necessary steps as planned in the initial workflow, the PM will review them to ensure that all the Quality Control (QC) processes have been applied, double-check that all the tasks have been completed without issues, and proceed to deliver them to the client.
Project Managers need to ensure any linguistic feedback/comments received from clients are taken into consideration. Receiving feedback from the client from time to time is normal and it helps our linguistic teams learn the client’s preferences. However, it’s the PM’s responsibility to make sure the quality of the final product is not compromised, even if it requires changing teams.
That’s why at GPI we encourage kick-off calls with our clients to learn about their technical and linguistic expectations. We also suggest that our client’s reviewers meet our linguists to discuss any linguistic-related topic to avoid any re-work later on, which will not only affect the schedule but also impact the budget.
Post Project Evaluation
This step will cover both the evaluation of the project itself (the language team, management, communication, and other components), as well as the results of the project. We always strive to improve, and a critical assessment of the project allows us to determine how to better help our clients.
Team Performance Evaluation
During this step, the PM will evaluate the internal processes performed by GPI, from quotation and workflow definition to clear and efficient communication with all team members. The PM will also evaluate the ability the team showed to tackle any challenging scenario it may have occurred during the project’s lifetime. Depending on the dynamic of the team/company, this can be assessed daily or weekly through internal team meetings.
Recognizing potential issues before they come up is a crucial skill a project manager must have. Checkpoints during a project’s lifespan, in addition to post-project reviews, will greatly aid in identifying and averting potential risks.
Being a Project Manager is as challenging as it is rewarding. Every website localization project will have its complexity and it is the PM’s responsibility to ensure that the outcome is the desired one. It’s important to take into consideration that, as mentioned throughout the whole blog, the PM must be present in each and every step of the project lifecycle.
At GPI, we have a team of professional and experienced project managers that ensure high-quality website localization based on the client’s needs. The PM’s define personalized workflows for each client and project and provides clients with dedicated access to GPI’s proprietary Translation Portal for a better experience.