Localization projects always take place at the end of the development lifecycle and are unfortunately often planned late in the release resulting in a very tight execution and delivery time-table.
Prudent localization teams will always try to satisfy the schedule needs while minimizing the impact on quality and cost. When schedules are tight, one typical reaction is to throw more localization resources at the project to get it done sooner. In some cases this is effective, but in many localization projects, there is a direct negative impact to cost and quality.
Here is an example where the use of translation management systems (TMS), coupled with proper planning, coordination and collaboration between the localization and development teams, ultimately benefits everyone.
Many projects involve the translation, review, layout, quality assurance (QA) and print of manuals. The localization team is usually very aware of the requirements for each of these stages of the process and handles them accordingly. If your developers or technical writers have a tendency to make updates to the source files during the localization process, it is important to make them aware of these stages so that updates can be introduced at the appropriate time with minimal impact on cost and schedule.
Making changes before the translation has started is always the best scenario. But if that is not possible, then the next best time to introduce changes is before the review phase begins. This allows the localization team to prepare the new source files, leverage the translation that is already done using translation memory tools, perform the review cycle on the entire target files, and then layout, QA and send to print. This usually incurs the lowest additional cost and time.
Making changes to the source once the text is in layout or QA, results in additional time needed to complete the project, more cost to rework the layout with the changes for each language, and more risk of errors when changes are introduced manually. It is not the desired timing.
Making changes after the manuals are printed is even more costly!
Understanding the localization project lifecycle, and setting deadlines for any source changes before the key localization cycles start, allows the most time and cost effective window to introduce revisions. When a translation management system (TMS) portal, such as GlobalVision’s gvAccess, is used, these events are clearly identified and communicated to the stake holders. Also, automatic alerts and notifications can be put in place to ensure open communications and status updates for all.