Our team just finished delivering a large project to one of our clients where both quality and schedule were essential.
With localization, the schedule typically drives the need for resources. We apply a sophisticated mathematical model to derive the number of people required and the project plan needed to complete the project on time.
Many of our clients consider this a linear model — when a schedule slips on their end, they push us to apply more resources to offset their delay and deliver according to the initial schedule. They formulate their argument around scalability: “It is very important for us that you are constantly growing and providing us scalability.”
But what our clients chose to overlook is the limit of the number of resources that can be thrown at a project before impacting its quality.
Capacity is not the only issue to consider in localization, particularly when most clients often want their projects done yesterday!
Most localization companies have hundreds or thousands of contractors helping them with their projects when needed. We processed projects of over a million words in just a few weeks for that same client’s customer support group a few months earlier. But the uses and users of knowledge-bases are different from the uses and users of a website and marketing collateral, and different still from the uses and users of a software User Interface…
The quality of a localization project is typically not determined by the expectations of our client, but instead by their end-users. This should be the primary driving factor of success, not the delivery schedule. What good will your localized products be if they are released on time, but are not understood by your users?
After we analyzed the overall schedule needs for our client, we strove to allocate the localization team the time required to complete that project according to the quality anticipated by its users.
After a few long execution weeks, our client wrote us the following: “With all the efforts from your team, we have been able to deliver these files in time and in good quality […]. We want to let you know that we really appreciate all the hard work you have put in these projects. Well done!”
Localized files were delivered later than the initial localization schedule called for, yet within overall product rollout requirements. More importantly, files were delivered according to the expected quality standards.
Like most tasks, there is often a limit to the number of resources you can throw at localization projects, reminding us of the old adage: Too many cooks spoil the broth! It always pays to seek an expert opinion before committing to a schedule.
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