The various steps of this project follow the steps of a normal project.
Communication with the client as well as with the teams is essential.
Therefore, upon project reception, the IPM should confirm reception of the files to the client AND warn the teams that a project is on its way.
When receiving the project, the IPM runs an analysis.
He has to identify the components and then the production steps to follow as well as the resources needed to complete the project.
The IPM can also start preparing the instructions for the teams, as well as questions for the client. For instance, he will have to ask if the related software has been or will be localized and if therefore the screenshots included in the Help and Doc will need to be localized. If those remain in English, the IPM will have to instruct the teams to leave any software references appearing in the Doc and Help in English, with a translation explaining in brackets.
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As soon as possible after reception of the project, the IPM has to send a quotation and a schedule to the client.
Students have to make sure they use appropriate prices and metrics for both. They would loose marks if they used unrealistic figures like for instance 10,000 words a day per translator while the average they have been taught is normally 2,500.
As a client, I then discuss the quote and the timescale, asking questions like:
- What are fuzzy and perfect matches, please explain.
- Why do you charge 0.2 EUR/word while other companies only charge 0.15?
- Why do you charge for PDF?
Faced with such questions, some students react very well, others panic, others ask advice to their Localization Manager.
As long as their answers make sense, I will accept what they are giving me.
Generally speaking, students make a real effort presenting such documents:
Some of them even write Terms and conditions, such as this student who did a really great job and sent me extremely professional documents.
At this stage, the IPM should also present the expected margin to his Localisation Manager.
After quote and schedule approval, the IPM can launch the project. He has to make sure all files are sent to the teams, instructions are correct and communication with the teams is effective. Some students even prepare templates for questions in order to make sure everyone will ask questions in the same way.
It is also at this stage that the IPM will send the POs to the teams.
The project has to be monitored by the IPM all along. The teams are reporting to him and should also help one another in case of problems. For instance, in the HTML and FrameMaker files they receive, there are lots of tag problems. They have to solve them and in most cases, they explain to one another how to do this within their team.
As a teacher, this phase is a very busy one with regards to email since many emails are exchanged between the students. As an indication, last year, within 3 days, around 400 emails were exchange for a class of 25 students.
All the discussions on the website are also intense during this time.
During the project, when the local teams send their Documentation structure + PDF and Help Structure + CHM to the IPM, they are rated not only on the quality of what they send, but also on the way they send it. They would loose mark for instance if they forget some files or if they do not clearly explain what they are delivering.
In order to keep track of the project evolution, the local teams send status reports to the IPM, who in turn sends such reports to the client.
It could be with some text:
Or in the form of a tracking file:
At the end of the project, a QA has to be performed by the IPM. This is a technical QA; nothing is checked on the linguistic aspect since the IPM cannot read all languages.
The teachers will mark various things:
- The issues identified by the IPM
- The way the IPM reports those to the teams. Feedback being essential in a project, the IPM cannot simply correct and deliver to his client. He should make sure his teams are aware of the remaining mistakes and understand how to fix them.
When the IPM is 100% sure of the quality, he can then deliver the project. I might also mark the way it is delivered, and the way the ZIP structure is made.
For instance, this delivery is wrong:
While this one is correct:
Some students also send their invoice at the end of the project, even internally from the teams to the IPM.
When the client has approved the project, some students even send a Post-Mortem. Some are very comprehensive and describe all stages of the project, including the positive and negative aspects. Some are more general reports on the project.