Project management is a far-ranging subject that affects all industries and all sectors. In this article, we will analyse its importance in the world of translation.
According to the Larousse encyclopedia, a project is "an objective that one seeks to meet."
We define "project management," in its most common form, as "the action of carrying a project through to completion according to certain predefined conditions." This article allows us to examine this concept more deeply as it applies specifically to the field of translation.
Importance of Translation Project Management
The act of translation is practised under various status and in different environments. Some translators are employed within institutions or in the public sector. Others are employed by private businesses that may have an internal translation department. In these two cases, when the "internal" workload becomes too heavy, a company may decide to delegate some projects to external independent translators or translation agencies.
These translation agencies usually have very few paid translators. They themselves rely upon their network of independent translators. In some cases, translations carried out "externally" are reviewed by "in-house" translators, also called "reviewers." We should also note that the volume of translation assignments sometimes also requires the help of "reviewers" outside of the translation agency. Generally speaking, the organisation of tasks is entrusted to a project manager. However, the project manager's role is usually not limited to the simple transfer of files; in fact, it covers many other functions.
To better grasp the concept of project management, we will examine the various stages of a translation project within a translation agency and the project manager's role during each of these stages. This presentation will also give us a sense of the diversity of projects in which translators, project managers, and others may become involved.
Publication: Matis, Nancy. 2005. La gestion de projets de traduction et sa place dans la formation de traducteurs, Équivalences, number 32/1 2005 - "La traduction à l'heure de la localisation" HEB, Haute École de Bruxelles, 47-62.