Project Management in Translation Business

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By Imulok Marcus

Employer and employees alike are often more concerned about the end result of a project without really paying attention to the process of completing the project itself. This affects the efficiency in the workplace especially when something goes wrong because they could not find the fault immediately. For example, a company would spend more money to trying to fix the obvious problems without really fixing the underlying problem. It might be as simple as checking the original text instead of keep trying to make sense of the translated sentences. Hence, a project management would have helped the company or an institution to work better towards their goals.

Project management does not only help the company but it also help the employees working on a project to be more efficient and focus on making sure everyone is playing their appointed role. It is needed to be integrated to the system of any project to ensure a successful venture is in hand. In order to do that, the people involved in the project have to understand what a project management is and how to apply it. Firstly, they must understand that project is the endeavour to convert something into a reality whilst management is the process of dealing with people or things. In order to convert a project into a visible result especially in translation business, there are several key points that need to be addressed. The key points are time, scope and cost. These three are important to ensure the quality of outcome is satisfying.

The project management is temporary because project often has a beginning and ending. There has to be a timeline for the project and it should be clearly stated in the beginning of any project. For example, the Summer Internship for Modlingua was projected to last for about two months. When executed, it started on the 7th June and ended on the 14th August. It took approximately two months for the big project to be completed. It included key people such as Mr. Ravi Kumar, the founder for Modlingua and guest speaker, Professor Ionna Daskalopoulou and 250 interns from all around the world. In order to ensure the efficiency working within the virtual workplace environment, everyone has to allocate their time for about two months preparing for any tasks given. Hence, the project was a success for following through the timeline allotted.

The project management has also to be structured accordingly to the type of the project. The scope or the features of the project has to be defined properly. The definition of the project must be clearly stated in order to know the goal of the project. This also helps the people who are working at a lower level to understand their roles perfectly. It is important for everyone to realise that no matter how small their role is, they are still a part of the one big unit. The inaccurate definition of the project on what to do will affect the resources on hand. If the individuals take on a project and try to finish it as they go, the project can end up being costly or they will face burnout. Hence after defining the project and what the end goal is, planning aspect comes after. Once the planning is done, there need to be an assessment to keep the progress in check.

There must be at least one person who leads the communication in order to keep the project stays afloat. The person in charge must keep a regular project health check in order to ensure everything is going smoothly. This can be done through a proper documentation of the project management. The inability to document properly the management reflects the possibility of the team’s inability to reach the goal on time. He or she also needs to give feedback towards the team members. Some individual will stray if no proper feedback is given. Other than that, any changes that have been on a lower level should be informed and the changes are integrated immediately throughout the different levels. There has to be a good and transparent communication among the team members in order for the project management to work. Therefore, it is important to define what the goal is or the scope. Having a definite goal will help everyone to plan the framework and execute it.

After the definition, goal and plan have been made and finalised, there has to be expectations towards setbacks and challenges. This is to ensure the flow of the project to go smoothly with enough preparation to minimize any setbacks. With proper backup plan, it helps to buffer the setback preventing major catastrophe in a project.  For example, during the internship, there was a time when some interns could not join the meeting due to personal reasons or work; they were still able to access the content of the meeting through YouTube which had helped them to complete the assignment given during that period. Despite the expectations are set, there are always unexpected challenges thus it is important to have a backup plan.

Besides that, without good project management, the team might exceed the budget allocated for the project. This causes the efficiency goes down in the workplace. The members would have to use their own fund to accommodate the current project causing working environment less satisfying. For example, the Summer Internship costed low despite the project involving about 250 interns around the globe because of the virtual workplace. This has increased the efficiency of the workplace because it gave more freedom for the interns to complete their work wherever they are without costing them much. Thus, the cost of the project needs to be considered in the project management.

To surmise, a project management helps to increase the efficiency of any workplace in many ways especially when taking upon a big project such as the Modlingua Summer internship 2017.

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