If you work in the language industry, you probably made up your mind whether Project Managers are a godsend or a scourge on this Earth and linguistic projects.
PMs themselves are often overworked and underestimated, which makes working environment hard for members of this oft-misunderstood profession and gives us some insights onto why the situation is the way it is.
All jokes aside, at least everyone seems to agree that a good PM is an absolute treasure, and we think you might like to know how to separate the good from the bad and the ugly.
We can’t speak for everyone, but our excellent PMs can certainly speak for themselves. We asked them some questions about what counts most in customer care within localization industry. This is what they said:
1. What qualities characterise a great PM?
“Great multitasking and productivity skills, you need those for managing multiple projects if need be.”
“Patience, attention to details because sometimes, you just have to wait for the client or for the situation to develop.“
“Proactive, with keen eye for possible issues. Life of a PM is fast-paced, so having a quick reaction time can save your hide, as well as the client’s.”
“Sense of humor and the ability to separate themselves from the job are a must! As PMs are often the “face” of the company, they tend to be blamed for anything wrong with the project and praised when it goes right.”
2. What qualities clients tell you they appreciated?
“Dedication and the ability to hone right onto the core of the issue.”
“Quick response time.”
“Good communications, customer care, and the ability to keep the client up to date.”
“All the technical support I always give.”
3. What are typical issues you solve for clients?
“Anything deadline related. Clients rely on me to suggest solutions that will save them time, especially when the deadlines are tight.”
“Surprisingly, I often help the clients solve issues with their systems or software. Sometimes we know these solutions better than our clients do.”
“All of these tiny issues that we could leave for the clients to resolve themselves but we’re just that helpful.”
”I tend to notify the client of the errors in the source materials so they can improve them.”
“Linguistic issues and anything related to file transfer and conversion.”
4. What are typical issues with previous LSPs that clients told you about?
“Lack of consistent client support is a big one and being late for deadlines – clients hate that.”
“Bad communication and customer service of the PMs in projects with previous LSPs.”
“Issues with the deliverable, be it translation or localization.”
“Lack of updates or long response time from PMs on projects.”
As you can see, Language Project Managers need to wear many hats – they have to manage projects, of course, often more than one at once. Such work sounds exhausting, luckily PMs are supported by a plethora of specialists who help them so the clients can be well-served both in terms of quality and timeliness. However, if or PMs can truly use this advice, they need to be well-versed in languages, related terminology, CAT tools, editing software… All this to advice the clients what type of service has the best quality to price ratio in their specific case, from verified translations all the way up to Machine Assisted Translation.
At Studio Gambit, our LPM’s are supported by our localization engineers and Language Resources Management department.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these pearls of wisdom and that they helped solve at least some of your issues. If not and you still have questions, you are also sincerely invited to ask our PMs for yourself here or to submit your own terms so we can update our glossary with your recommendations.