Project planning and management is essential for any company to run smoothly. Often people do not have a good understanding of all the variables that play a part in ensuring that a job is done well and all the people involved in doing that job. In a translation agency, the professional translator and the project manager who manages the entire project are equally important. Today we want to help you discover everything you have always wanted to know about project managers in a translation company but have never dared to ask! And we do this thanks to the help of Okodia’s project managers.

What is a PM or project manager?

A PM is a facilitator. When a customer contacts a translation agency with a translation they need doing, it is because they don’t know who can translate it for them, how long it will take, how much it will cost and if the end result will be good or bad. The project manager is responsible for organising the entire process so that the customer can fully delegate the task, from the initial contact to the final delivery of the translation.

Project management consists of working with all the people involved to make sure that each stage goes well, making things as easy as possible for everyone, even if that means more work for them.

Project managers are essential in translation agencies

Project managers are essential in all kinds of translation companies, such as our London translation agency. Their job broadly consists of analysing the files, sending out quotes, allocating the work and checking the final files. They are fully involved in all stages of the process. They are an essential companion for the translator. They lend a hand when needed and ensure that the project turns out as well as possible. In addition, they make sure that the final result meets the customer’s needs.

The most important task of a project manager is…

Most people think that the task of a project manager in a translation agency relates more to the financial side of things. However, this is not their only task. Of course, a PM has to ensure that the job is financially viable for the company, but it is also very important for them to ensure that both the linguists and the customers are happy working with the company. They have a very organic role. In fact, they need to make sure that a project runs smoothly from start to finish.

Should project managers be professional translators?

Being a professional translator offers greater freedom when managing projects as they can identify potential problems, possible translations errors and other issues relating to quality that might otherwise be overlooked. However, a PM doesn’t have to be a translator as long as they have extensive knowledge of their main working languages. That said, being a professional translator is very helpful when it comes to analysing and reviewing files. A translator is used to thinking in a certain way and making linguistic decisions. If the PM is a translator, they might be able to foresee certain problems or difficulties that could be involved in a translation. This allows them to anticipate problems and fix them as much as possible so that the translator can work more comfortably and efficiently.

These are their tasks in a translation company

A PM’s day involves constantly jumping from one task to another, depending on the urgency and any unforeseen events that arise. In short, they take care of sending out the jobs that need to be delivered that day, proofreading jobs they receive from translators and, at the same time, they start the new translation projects that arrive that day, juggling all of these different tasks.

Does the perfect project manager exist?

Project managers in a translation company must be  multitasking experts with a sharp critical mind. They need to be able to challenge (translations, even instructions proposed by customers) and suggest the approach they think is right. Sometimes people think they are just intermediaries, but in reality, they need to contribute their know-how in this area so that they can advise customers about all aspects of the translation process, constantly calling on the knowledge and performance of our network of translators.

A good PM should also be cool under pressure so that they don’t panic when emergencies arise or things don’t go as planned. Some of their most useful qualities and skills are the ability to manage stress, patience, critical thinking, time management, flexibility, negotiation skills and multitasking.

The best thing about being a PM is…

For project managers, it is very satisfying to see that their decision-making power or ability to solve problems is often an essential element in projects coming to fruition. They have an overview of the entire project and can think about the final delivery of the translation and all the challenges that had been overcome to achieve that, feeling proud about the result of their work.

Rocío González

Author Rocío González

More posts by Rocío González
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