Project Management and efficiency

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By Garima Jand

Project management includes effective planning, organizing and implementing of a project. A project is an undertaking with specific start and end parameters designed to produce a defined outcome. A project is temporary because it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. For example, the development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building or bridge, the relief effort after a natural disaster, the expansion of sales into a new geographic market — all are projects. And the team must be expertly managed to deliver the results on-time and on-budget.

Project management, hence, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. It involves integration, scope, time, cost, quality, procurement, human resources, communications, risk management and stakeholder management.
Project management processes fall into five groups:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closing

Projects are made up of tasks, and knowing how to manage your tasks is the secret to getting your projects completed on time.  Project management is about coordination, teamwork, planning, and control techniques. Project Management undoubtedly increases efficiency in every aspect. So when we talk about efficiency, what we’re talking about is avoiding waste; waste of materials, energy, effort, money, and time in doing something, or in producing a desired result. One of the big challenges for project managers is making sure that tasks are done by others and in the correct manner.  As a project manager, one should reward team behavior. One should reward what one wants to continue to get. And by having the team support each other, it’s helping them get a dependent task completed on time. One should set specific dates and follow up. By following up with the team members, you can look for and listen for areas where they may be getting stuck. In this way, problems can be solved better results can be seen. Also, one should clarify his expectations to ensure they know what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how. This is will definitely avoid confusions and the output will be as per the requirement of the institution or organization.

In our field, that is in translation services, project management is equally important as in any other field. Many aspects go into a quality translation program, from dedicated linguists to assisting software. But one of the most valuable parts of an effective translation program is to have a great translation project manager.  After all, they’re the ones managing almost every aspect of your translation process. It’s no secret that a translation project manager’s day is filled with multiple tasks. Assisting linguists, developing processes and managing multiple projects in multiple languages are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to daily activities. Being able to effectively multitask and manage multiple components of a project at once is critical to not only the success of each project, but to the sanity of the project manager. It is without a doubt that project timelines and translation deliverables depend upon the clarity and timeliness of communications. Being a translation project manager means having effective communication abilities to both understand the client and lead a positive performance from their team. Like most things in life, challenges can arise. During translations, it is how a project manager approaches them and the way that they are resolved that grows strong business relationships. In short, great translation project managers make solutions rather than excuses.  Even if there is a long, arduous project in front them, thinking outside-the-box and making solutions for the barriers results in a better outcome for all involved. Facing demands from both clients and coworkers can be stressful. An average translation project manager may crack under pressure, but a project manager with a positive attitude can lead through difficult times. Not to forget that having a positive outlook and being easy to talk with makes most business conversations a lot more bearable. Translation project managers are often faced with many different aspects of a project at once, such as budgeting, timeline development, editing, etc… In order to successfully implement all parts of a process, a project manager needs to be organized. And well organized, at that. Any missteps or displacements could mean timeline delays  and frustrated clients. A great project manager will find an ordered structure that works and will stick to it. In the world of translations, there’s no black and white. Between juggling office hours, meeting customer demands and assisting team members, a translation project manager has a lot to manage. From leveraging technical solutions to implementing process changes, being flexible and willing to make adjustments really speaks to the needs of clients and shows the project manager values their line of work. 

Hence a project manager with these qualities can do great and efficient project management. When the management is correct, everything else falls into place.   
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