Automating the translation process involves utilizing a variety of tools and technologies, from translation management systems (TMSes), translation memory tools (TMs), and machine translation (MT) to computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools.

Yet for many years, most of the effort and investment was devoted to streamlining only one part of the translation process, particularly that which is related to the work of the translator itself. But the truth is that managing a modern translation project is a complex process, involving different stakeholders and technologies.

In the following article we will analyze translation automation but from the perspective of project management.

Challenges in translation project management

Understanding why project management automation is crucial for translation companies requires knowing what are the main challenges that project managers face day in and out while carrying out their work.

Coordinating with multiple stakeholders

A translation project involves coordinating with various stakeholders, such as the client, translators, editors, proofreaders, and other subject-matter experts. This coordination requires time and effort to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

Managing multiple languages and formats

Translation projects often involve managing multiple languages and file formats, which can be time-consuming and requires a lot of attention to detail.

Varying levels of what a task is

Some companies outsource multilingual projects with many files in one go, while others define a project as one file. Project managers are constantly batching or separating files to give a reasonable set amount of volume to translators.

Translators' availability

Deadlines are set by customers, but in reality, customers rarely know how available the vendors at the end of the supply chain are. Therefore, there is a lot of back-and-forth forging agreements on reasonable deadlines, all due to the lack of information.

Ensuring quality and consistency

Maintaining high-quality translations and ensuring consistency in terminology and style can be a time-consuming process, especially when dealing with multiple languages.

Dealing with tight deadlines

Translation projects often have tight deadlines, and meeting these deadlines while maintaining high quality can be a challenge.

Managing revisions and changes

Revisions and changes to the original content can occur throughout the translation process, which can add extra time and complexity to the project management process.

The tech revolution changed the nature of translation jobs

The tech revolution and the arrival of the big IT companies – the likes of Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, among others – had a decisive influence on the nature of translation projects.

By 2010, the software industry introduced agile methodologies and continuous release cycles. Software products began to be updated more frequently, which meant that translation jobs also became more regular, but smaller in terms of volume (word count).

A small update in the interface of an application or in the terms and conditions, no matter how small, had – and still does – to be released in all the languages in which the company markets its product. This meant a substantial change in the amount and nature of work for project managers in the language industry and led to the advent of translation workflow automation.

Tool proliferation in the language industry

On top of the changes to the nature of translation projects, the language industry started to see a significant increase in the number of tools available to professionals and companies, a phenomenon that is often referred to as “tool proliferation.” 

One of the main reasons for tool proliferation has been the growth of the language industry itself, which has led to a greater demand for efficient and effective processes for managing translation and localization projects. Another reason is the advancement of technology, which has made it possible to create more specialized tools to address specific needs and challenges in the industry.

While the proliferation of tools has brought increased efficiency, productivity, and quality, it can also lead to challenges. With so many tools available, it is difficult for enterprises and language service providers to integrate them and create automated workflows.

Automating your translation workflows

Workflow automation in translation refers to the use of technology to integrate and automate the various steps in the translation process, from receiving and assigning projects to tracking progress and delivering the final product.

The main goal of workflow automation in translation is to streamline the process and make it more efficient, while also ensuring quality and consistency.

The benefits of translation project management automation

Increased efficiency

Project managers don’t need to spend valuable time reading emails or accessing the vendor portal, uploading and downloading documents and packages, and reassigning translators.

Enhanced productivity

Automating repetitive steps within the translation workflow allows for approving, creating, and outsourcing jobs within minutes. During the time it takes to manage 1 project, you can monitor 10 automated projects.

Increased scalability

Small translation jobs can be difficult and expensive to manage for language service providers, which makes it difficult to scale this kind of work. Translation project automation allows you to accommodate an increased number of projects without having to worry about time-consuming manual work.

Better Compliance

Deadlines are set by customers, but in reality, customers rarely know how available the vendors at the end of the supply chain are. Therefore, there is a lot of back-and-forth forging agreements on reasonable deadlines, all due to the lack of information.

Customer satisfaction

The automation of repetitive tasks can free up time and resources that can be redirected to higher-value tasks, such as expanding the services offered, serving more clients, or improving the customer experience.

BeLazy offers a middleware solution that monitors new jobs in translation management systems and vendor portals and removes the human work associated with managing these projects in business management systems. From the United States to China to Uruguay, we've become the preferred automation platform for language service providers that want to cut down manual processes and boost their project management efforts.