A project management checklist is essential for Asian language translation services. This is because it brings a level of cohesion and organization to every project being handled. With the complexity of the various Asian languages and the intricacies and nuances of the various Asian cultures, a project management checklist helps to bring unity and more clarity to each project. Project management (PM) necessarily involves several stakeholders in the process.
And much like a symphony, each player needs to perform their role optimally for the quality of the final output. A project manager, therefore, is like an orchestra conductor. They ensure that everyone plays their part, at the right time, with just the right pitch or volume, to produce the perfect result. With this in mind, we explore why you need a project management checklist and offer several essential steps in the project planning process, so that you can have a more successful outcome every time.
What is a project management checklist?
Before going deeper into the details, it’s first important to define and clearly outline a project management checklist. Essentially, it is a document that details each of the steps required in an Asian language translation project sequentially. Each step is carried out one after the other by the relevant parties or stakeholders with a smooth transition between each step.
The various stakeholders in a translation project, especially for Asian languages, may include but not be limited to the following individuals: content creator, IT, product manager, product owner, developer, procurement, legal, quality analyst, finance, and tech engineers, among others.
With all these role players involved in the process, it’s critical to ensure that each one has a clearly defined role and knows exactly when to come on board to perform their part. As a result, a project management checklist helps to organize these people’s roles for smoother project planning and execution.
Benefits of project management checklists for Asian languages
Having a clearly defined project management checklist can be useful in a number of ways. Here, we’re exploring some of the key advantages of such a checklist in the project planning process.
Firstly, a project management checklist enables the entire team of stakeholders to get an overview of the entire project. The scope of the project is clearly defined and a project management checklist enables both the client and the relevant team to have a quick, bird’s eye view of the steps involved in the Asian languages translation project as well as where in the process the team is at.
Secondly, a project management checklist can set clear expectations for all parties involved. This means that every member of the team will know exactly what their role is as well as by when they need to deliver so as not to delay the project’s final outcome. This is beneficial to both clients and team members because it puts them all on the same wavelength.
Thirdly, these checklists help the entire team stay more organized. Better organization means better delivery and product output. This necessarily involves avoiding confusion and lengthy explanatory emails and is a great way of staying efficient and saving time.
But perhaps most importantly, following the steps in a project management checklist is a great way of saving or reducing costs and being more efficient. When everyone knows their role and at what stage of the project they need to come in, this results in more efficiency. As a result, the client will get a more competitive cost for their project request.
Your project management checklist
A project manager or PM, who implements a project management checklist, needs to consider the following guidelines when creating their list for project planning purposes:
- Purpose of the project: with the whole team being clear about the purpose of the project, such as marketing or sales or informative purposes, the project will be handled more appropriately by each member of the team.
- Determine the total number of files in the Asian languages translation project: this can help provide an overall idea of the length of time that will be required to produce the final output.
- Produce clarity about the total word count for your team: a 1,000-word project can be much quicker to complete as opposed to a 10,000 or 100,000-word project. This will also help determine the final cost analysis for the project and give the client more clarity about what to expect in relation to price regarding the project’s final outcome.
- Determine the type and nature of the source files: source files in Asian languages can come in multiple forms. These range from PDF files to Word documents, a Google Docs spreadsheet, webpages, brochures, flyers, posters, etc. Ideally, editable files should be provided by the client to ensure that the work can be carried out more seamlessly.
- Clarify the delivery file formats and methods of delivery: although a client may have given you a Word document as the source file, they may wish the final result to be placed on a webpage. As a result, having clarity about the final method of delivery is another crucial element in the project management checklist.
- Target locale, language, and audience: this may seem obvious but is actually one of the most crucial elements to get right. Here, you need to know exactly which language you’ll be translating to and from, have a clear picture of the specific region the document will be used in owing to cultural and linguistic nuances which will influence the translation project, and then know what target audience the final product is aimed at. This will also help a translator and localization expert determine what tone of voice should be used.
- Clarify the inclusion and exclusion of elements: not all elements will need to be translated. This means omitting or including specific instructions in the project outline. In some instances, these are referred to as in-scope and out-of-scope services, which may exclude things like street names, numbers, names of companies, etc.
- Localization of images, tables, graphs, etc.: these graphical elements often appear in documents needed for Asian languages translation and translating them is a must because they add value to the document. As a result, it’s important to have clarity about whether and which of these elements need to be translated and localized.
- Use style guides or glossaries, where available: your client may have a glossary or a style guide that can help guide translators and localization specialists in ensuring more uniformity in producing the final language output in the given project. Style guides are great for defining the usage of names, measurements, punctuation, and even formatting.
- Pay attention to the technical details: we all know that certain colors have different connotations in various Asian countries. This is a cultural nuance that must be taken into account. As a result, it’s important to clarify which fonts should be used as well as colors, and which ones should be avoided.
- Consider any special instructions or requirements: your client may have certain special instructions for this project and these must necessarily be taken into account when completing the project.
- Turnaround time requested: knowing how much time is allocated for the project will enable the project manager to assign tasks to the right people and give them realistic deadlines for when the project is due.
- Abide by confidentiality agreements: in most cases, clients that come to you are businesses that compete in the marketplace. Therefore, to ensure they remain competitive, their translation and localization projects need to be kept confidential. This will mean ensuring that all relevant stakeholders in the translation and localization project are aware of and comply with the client’s confidentiality requirements.
- Issue a project order: the purpose of this is to confirm the order with the client in order to avoid confusion regarding each of the above steps and processes.
And that’s a wrap!
In this article, we provided you with a detailed project management checklist to help ensure that your next Asian language translation project goes as smoothly as possible. Project planning is essential, especially when it involves a group of people from different professional backgrounds who need to work together. Ultimately, having a detailed project management checklist can help speed up the process, clarify everyone’s roles, reduce costs, save time, and lead to a satisfied client. If you’re wondering about the essentials of what is required for PM, don’t hesitate to download our tips and tricks for B2B project management in the language industry.