Don’t Overlook this Risk Factor
If you have ever been a project manager or stakeholder involved in the development and release of a product or service, you know that the globalization of the product and the need to localize it to some degree is almost inevitable. Because we live in a globalized economy, Globalization, Internationalization, Localization and Translation (GILT) need to be factored in to the project manager’s risk assessment. However, many project managers feel disconnected to these processes. Familiarizing oneself with the basics of Localization Project Management is not difficult, and will give a project manager and any of the project stakeholders more visibility over potential risks.
There are many reasons why a project manager may be disconnected from the GILT process. For example, many large companies can afford the luxury of a Localization department (or as I like to call it, “GILT Management”), which can have the unintended consequence of making the Localization process seem peripheral to the project manager. But PMs who don’t have to deal directly with GILT still need to be aware of it as a risk factor. The financial benefits of globalization on a product are significant, and make this process relevant to anyone developing the product. Requirements that come to a detached PM from the Loc. team may seem absurd, but chances are it will have a significant impact on ROI.
Project Managers in smaller companies who cannot afford in-house Localization departments often outsource at least some of that work to vendors, again creating a split between the PM and the Localization efforts.
Either way, a PM needs to be aware of the many risks involved in making sure that their product is prepared for globalization and can be localized accurately. Understanding what it takes to project manage the localization of a product will shed some light over these risks and allow them to be managed more accurately, whether you are fully integrated with the localization team or working separately from them. This will mitigate many of these risks, which is, after all, part of the project manager’s job.
This one-hour webinar presents best practices for Localization Project Management, and is perfect if you are a PM who wants to familiarize yourself more with the PM role in Localization. It is free, and you can watch it on your own schedule and earn a PDU. The webinar is presented by Hiram Machado, President of adaQuest and faculty member at University of Washington, where he teaches a course on Localization both at the Master’s Level and for a certificate program. Click here to register: