Project deadlines and work pressure in translation

Project deadlines and work pressure in translation
13. 01. 22
posted by: Ravi Kumar
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Many times we come across a situation when a regular client gives us a call and tells us to finish the project within a tight deadline. There can be many reasons but most likely reasons are the following: The end client needs to finish the work as soon as possible as they have many other projects lined up and their project managers have failed to anticipate the real time needed for the completion of the project.

The project manager who was assigned the responsibility to distribute the work was sleeping or waiting for the approval from the boss who was on a vacation to Las Vegas or some similar tourist destinations.

Project Managers undervalue your expertise and believe that they can buy anything from the market by just paying certain fees.

As an entrepreneur of translation and localization business, I have faced many such situation where I wanted to help the project manager, but I ended up refusing the project because the client / Project Manager undervalued my worth.

For example, a client put pressure on us for the quick delivery of translation of 76 pages within 24 hours. We were seriously thinking about providing a solution to this request and we had mobilized 5 translators and 2 quality managers to execute the project within 24 hours, but the client threatened us saying, “If you will not do the work, we will get it done from someone else”.

This statement from the client demoralized me and my whole team. As the team leader, I decided to maintain high moral of my team and decided to send a solid reply to the client. I replied to the client by saying, "even before I received any feedback from our translators, you called us and put pressure on us for the quick delivery of work. Unfortunately, translation does not function as a photocopier machine that gives photocopies of the pages by just pushing the button. Translation is a serious work and involves quite a considerable degree of time in translating as well as in quality control. We are a professional organization; we do seek business, but we cannot put pressure on our team that is beyond scope of activities".

Upon having received our message, the client realized the mistake, and he consulted his superiors who decided to extend the deadline by one week.  This way we were able to get a workable timeline and my team at  Modlingua did very well in this project and the client also got good comments and recommendations about the work. This way we were able to create a win win situation for the client as well as our team. 

This demonstrates that the impractical deadlines and extraordinary work pressure may not work always specially when it comes to demanding quality services for maintaining high reputation. 

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