How necessary is translation project management?

translation project management

Some clients who avail themselves of a translation service often assume that everything is automated using the software. However, translation project management is indispensable in every task and can only be fulfilled by an expert who can handle project variables and requirements efficiently.

Language translation is a process that considers nuances, cultural differences, and customs between two languages. It requires the human ability to deliver the expression and meaning of the source words. In this aspect, multidisciplinary teams that can handle project management still play the lead role in translation jobs.

What is translation project management?

A lot of aspects go into project management for translation and localization. It includes the identification of requirements, the creation of a project plan, and the management of staff resources to deliver the results promptly.


Before anything else, reviewing the requirements thoroughly can help you map out a sound plan for the project.

The completion of a translation project varies on the project scope and complexity. A large-scale assignment may require hiring several expert translators, linguists, and industry professionals. The cost and logistics might be trickier to handle, so a translation project manager must facilitate the process from start to finish.

Elements of translation project management

Much like any project, translation project management involves identifying the scope and stakeholders and prioritizing the goals of the job. It is designed to meet the deadline on budget and on time, with a high-quality final product that meets the client’s expectations.

Here are the elements commonly observed when handling translation projects.

Project requirements

Before anything else, reviewing the requirements thoroughly can help you map out a sound plan for the project. Some of the items that need to be identified include the content type and format, the target audience, and the languages for translation.

The project manager should also take note of these questions to identify the scope:

  • Does it require a specific tool or industry?
  • Are there stipulated rules and regulations to consider?
  • Are source materials available and accessible?
  • Will the document be submitted in sections or as a whole?
  • Are charts and graphs necessary?
  • How will information be gathered (i.e., interviews, watching videos, etc.)

Answers to these queries can provide a better picture of how the client wants the translation deliverables to appear in the final draft.



Different projects will need to hire talents with skillsets relevant to the task. Once the scope, requirements, and duration of the project are identified, it is then crucial to assemble the right team to work on it.

It’s highly likely that contributors to a translation project are outsourced. In this case, it is the manager’s responsibility to inform the professional about the details of the project. This way, they will have the lead time to finish all their current commitments and prepare for your project.


There should be an exchange of expectations from the clients and the team to make the translation project a smooth process. For example, the translators need to meet the deadline, but they can only do that if the client sends the source material at a specific date.

It’s essential to have a point person for both parties to ensure that there are no hiccups once the project is kickstarted. In this case, the translation project manager can be the go-to from the team when the client has any questions or concerns.



A cohesive dialogue is a must in translation projects because these tasks often gather multilingual and multicultural individuals. Having a solid communication point allows the team to coordinate effectively and escalate issues for resolution.


Documentation involves building a guideline for every role and task in the translation process. It includes creating a project plan that details specific instructions and a checklist to guide every step of the process.

Ensuring the quality and consistency of the content also falls in this aspect of the translation task. Reference materials and terminology definitions should be appropriately secured, along with a glossary of specialized terms that could be used in subsequent translations.


A competent project manager has processes to address potential errors and issues throughout the translation process.


The team needs to analyze all aspects of the project to catch any omission and fix errors on the copy. It pays to double-check the draft to ensure that instructions are followed and all the requirements are met.

Allowing time to review the final copy can help the team prevent pitfalls and delays before the completion date. This allows the team to maintain the standard, budget, and time expected of the deliverables. By doing so, the relationship between the group and the client is nurtured.

Why is it essential to project success?

A competent project manager has processes to address potential errors and issues throughout the translation process. In a way, they are the “smoke detector” that notices any deviation from the project plan. The human factor of this role is valuable to clients as much as the translation services they avail.

Having a trustworthy translation project manager helps the team stick to the outlined strategy to achieve the goals satisfactorily. These experts can positively impact the quality of the translated content if they are adept at performing their responsibility and communicating with every team member.

Should you hire a translation project managing team?

Translation projects appear simple, but they can be deceptively complex, especially if they have enormous scope. To ensure the job’s success, you need top-notch professional human translation services that ensure smooth process from planning to completion. Circle Translations has a team of dedicated translators, linguists, industry experts, and collaborators who can provide excellent translation services for you!