Translation projects always take place at the end of the development lifecycle. They are unfortunately often planned late in the release resulting in a very tight execution and delivery time-table.
More is Less
Prudent localization teams will always try to satisfy the schedule needs. They do that 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) can be helpful. Coupling the TMS with proper planning, coordination and collaboration between the localization and development teams, will benefit 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. It is important to make your developers aware of these stages. This is particularly true if they or your technical writers have a tendency to make updates to the source files during the localization process. This way, you can introduce updates at the appropriate time with minimal impact on cost and schedule.
When to Introduce Source Change
Making changes before the translation starts 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 and leverage the translation that is already done. This can be done by using translation memory tools. Then they perform the review cycle on the entire target files, and then layout, QA and send to print. This process usually incurs the lowest additional cost and time.
You will need additional time to complete the project if you are making changes to the source once the text is in layout or QA. This introduces more costs to rework the layout with the changes for each language. It will also create a higher risk for errors when you introduce changes manually. It is not the desired timing.
Making changes after you print the manuals is the costliest scenario!
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 you use a translation management system (TMS) portal, you will clearly identify and communicate these events to all stakeholders. Also, automatic alerts and notifications will ensure open communications and status updates for all.
For more information on Software Localization Best Practices, click here.
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