Tag: Project Managers

The Stunning Variety of Job Titles in the Language Industry

The Stunning Variety of Job Titles in the Language Industry

Slator published an amazing report about the job titles used in the language industry in LinkedIn. They have identified over 600 unique titles…and counting! An impressive total for what is often referred to as a niche industry. Here they ask What does it all mean?

Project Management

While Transcreation and Localization indicate that a Project Manager is operating within the language industry (rather than in Software or Construction, for example), the AssociateSenior and Principal prefaces are indicative of the job level. Hyphens also seem to be en vogue on LinkedIn, and used mainly to denote the specific customer segment, as in the case of “Project Manager – Life Sciences”. We also see Language Manager or Translation Manager, although these seem to be more in use when a Project Manager is responsible for an inhouse linguistic team.

Coordinator and Manager appear to be used somewhat interchangeably across the industry, but where one company uses both titles, Manager is usually more senior. So how do you tell where a Project Coordinator ends and a Project Manager begins, especially if the lines are blurred further with the Associate, Principal or Senior modifiers?

Some companies reserve the Project Manager title for those who are customer facing, while Coordinators might remain more internally focused (e.g. performing administrative and linguist-related tasks but not interfacing with the customers). To make this same distinction, some LSPs are increasingly using Customer Success Manager, a title that presumably has its origin among Silicon Valley startups.

The Program Manager title is also emerging as a mid to senior job title in Project Management on technology and other large accounts, with an element of people or portfolio management involved as well. In other companies, Account Manager can also be used to describe a similar role within Project Management, specifically customer focused, and often also involving a degree of people or performance management.

Confusingly, Account Managers in many LSPs are part of the Sales function, with revenue / retention targets attached. Likewise, the Customer Success Manager job title is broad and ambiguous since it can also apply to both Sales and Project Management staff.

Sales and Business Development

Across the Sales function, we find a similar array of job titles: from Business Development Manager and Senior Localization Strategy Consultant to Strategic Account Executive and Vice President of Sales. Preferences range from specific to vague on a spectrum of transparency, with the slightly softer BD title being more favored among the frontline Sales staff in LSPs. We also note the C-Suite title Chief Revenue Officerentering the arena as someone responsible for the revenue generating activities of Marketing and Sales teams, and offer a special mention to the Bid Managers and Pre-Sales teams.

Solutions

At the center of the Sales, Operations and Technology Venn diagram are the Solutions teams, striving to solve the most complex of customer and prospective client “puzzles”. From the generic Solutions ArchitectDirector of Client Solutions, Solutions Consulting and Director of Technology Solutions, to the more specific Cloud Solutions Architect or Solutions Manager for Machine Intelligence, these individuals help make the promises of Sales a reality for the customer by enabling the Operations teams to deliver the right product in the right way.

Vendor Management

It’s a similar state of affairs across the Vendor Management function. Here we find Global Procurement Directors, Supplier Relations Managers, Area Sourcing Managers, Supply Chain Managers and Talent Program Managers, all dedicated to the managing the pool of linguists and other linguistic subcontractors within an LSP.

Linguists

Arguably the lifeblood of the language industry, but not every LSP has them. Companies that do have a team of linguists inhouse hire for roles such as Medical and Legal InterpreterSenior EditorTechnical TranslatorInhouse Translator/Reviser and French Translator-Subtitler, with some multi-tasking as Translator / IT Manager and Account Manager / Translator.

Tech etc.

The Technology function(s) in LSPs can be a bit of a catch-all for employees working on IT, software development and functional QA activities, within many coming from outside the industry originally. The extent to which an LSP develops its own solutions inhouse will determine the technicality of the job titles assigned to Technology staff, and some language industry old-timers may be hard-pressed to tell their Junior Full Stack Software Developer from their Senior UX Designer and their Product Managers from their Project Manager. Other Tech-type job roles include QA Automation EngineerAssociate Customer Support EngineerChief Information Officer, and Sound Engineer.

Back-Office

Perhaps the most standardized and least localization-specific area of the language industry, the back-office and shared-services functions house the likes of marketing, payroll, HR, finance, and accounting professionals. Behind the scenes here can be found HR SpecialistsHR Generalists (and everything in between), your friendly Director of Talent Acquisition as well as Financial Accounting Managers, Group Financial Controllers, and not forgetting General Counsel.

Why The Variety?

There are many elements at play in explaining the mindblowing variety of job titles found in the language industry. Some of the key factors include:

  • Geography – While variants of the VP title are seen more in the US, Asia tends to favour Area or Country Managers. By contrast, Directors and Heads of are most likely to be found in Europe.
  • Customer Base – Some companies tap into the idea of using job titles strategically to mirror the language used by their clients, hence Customer Success Manager in a Tech-focused LSP, or Principal Project Manager in one servicing a Financial customer base.
  • Organizational Design – Flatter organizations typically differentiate less between job levels while others design progressively more senior titles as a people management / motivational tool. Internally, an employee may achieve levels of progression (junior, senior or level 1, 2, 3 etc.), without the external facing job title having changed. This contributes to giving companies a….
  • Competitive Edge – Helpfully, job titles that are ambiguous are less understandable to those outside the business, which can make it harder for competitors to poach the best employees.
  • Creative License – Since LinkedIn profiles are normally owned by individuals, employees have a certain leave to embellish on their actual job titles.

In alongside the obvious and mundane, the vague and ambiguous are also some intriguing job titles: we spotted Traffic Coordinator, People Ops and Quality Rater to name just a few.

Reference: https://bit.ly/2JbQpl6

How to become a localization project manager

How to become a localization project manager

Excerpts from an article with the same title, written by Olga Melnikova in Multilingual Magazine.  Olga Melnikova is a project manager at Moravia and an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She has ten years of experience in the language industry. She holds an MA in translation and localization management and two degrees in language studies.

I decided to talk to people who have been in the industry for a while, who have seen it evolve and know where it’s going. My main question was: what should a person do to start a localization project manager career? I interviewed several experts who shared their vision and perspectives — academics, industry professionals and recruiters. I spoke with Mimi Moore, account manager at Anzu Global, a recruiting company for the localization industry; Tucker Johnson, managing director of Nimdzi Insights; Max Troyer, translation and localization management program coordinator at MIIS, and Jon Ritzdorf, senior solution architect at Moravia and an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and at MIIS. All of them are industry veterans and have extensive knowledge and understanding of its processes.

Why localization project management?

The first question is: Why localization project management? Why is this considered a move upwards compared to the work of linguists who are the industry lifeblood? According to Renato Beninatto and Tucker Johnson’s The General Theory of the Translation Company, “project
management is the most crucial function of the LSP. Project management has the potential to most powerfully impact an LSP’s ability to add value to the language services value chain.” “Project managers are absolutely the core function in a localization company,” said Johnson. “It is important to keep in mind that language services providers do not sell translation, they sell services. Project managers are responsible for coordinating and managing all of the resources that need to be coordinated in order to deliver to the client: they are managing time, money, people and technology.


Nine times out of ten, Johnson added, the project manager is the face of the company to the client. “Face-to-face contact and building the relationship are extremely important.” This is why The General Theory of the Translation Company regards project management to be one of the core functions of any language service provider (LSP). This in no way undermines the value of all the other industry players, especially
linguists who do the actual translation work. However, the industry cannot do without PMs because “total value is much higher than the original translations. This added value is at the heart of the language services industry.” This is why clients are happy to pay higher prices to work with massive multiple services providers instead of working directly with translators.

Who are they?

The next question is, how have current project managers become project managers? “From the beginning, when the industry started 20 years
ago, there were no specialized training programs for project managers,” Troyer recounted. “So there were two ways. One is you were a translator, but wanted to do something else — become an editor, for example, or start to manage translators. The other route was people working in a business that goes global. So there were two types of people who would become project managers — former translators or people who were assigned localization as a job task.”

According to Ritzdorf, this is still the case in many companies. “I am working with project managers from three prospective clients right now, all of whom do not have a localization degree and are all in localization positions. Did they end up there because they wanted to? Maybe not. They did not end up there because they said ‘Wow, I really want to become a head of localization.’ They just ended up there by accident, like a lot of people do.”

“There are a lot of people who work in a company and who have never heard of localization, but guess what? It is their job now to do localization, and they have to figure it out all by themselves,” Moore confirmed. “When the company decides to go international, they have to find somebody to manage that,” said Ritzdorf.

Regionalization


The first to mention regionalization was Ritzdorf, and then other interviewees confrmed it exists. Ritzdorf lives on the East Coast of the
United States, but comes to the West Coast to teach at MIIS, so he sees the differences. “There are areas where localization is a thing, which means when you walk into a company, they actually know about localization. Since there are enough people who understand what localization is, they want someone with a background in it.” Silicon Valley is a great example, said Ritzdorf. MIIS is close; there is a

localization community that includes organizations like Women in Localization; and there are networking events like IMUG. “People live and
breathe localization. However, there is a totally different culture in other regions, which is very fragmented. There are tons of little companies in other parts of the US, and the situation there is different. If I am a small LSP owner in Wisconsin or Ohio, what are my chances of finding someone with a degree or experience to fill a localization position for a project manager? Extremely low. This is why I may hire a candidate who has an undergraduate degree in French literature, for example. Or in linguistics, languages — at least something.”

The recruiters’ perspective


Nimdzi Insights conducted an interesting study about hiring criteria for localization project manager positions (Figure 1). Some 75 respondents (both LSPs and clients) were asked how important on a scale of 1 to 5 a variety of qualifications are for project management positions. Te responses show a few trends. Top priorities for clients are previous localization experience and a college degree, followed by years of experience and proficiency in more than one language. Top criteria for LSPs are reputation and a college degree, also followed
by experience and proficiency in more than one language.

Moore said that when clients want to hire a localization project manager, the skills they are looking for are familiarity with computer assisted translation (CAT) tools “and an understanding of issues that can arise during localization — like quality issues, for example. Compared to
previous years, more technical skills are required by both clients and vendors: CAT tools, WorldServer, machine translation knowledge, sometimes WordPress or basic engineering. When I started, they were nice-to-haves, but certainly not mandatory.”

Technical skill is not enough, however. “Both hard and soft skills are important. You need hard skills because the industry has become a lot more technical as far as software, tools and automation are concerned. You need soft skills to deal with external and internal stakeholders, and one of the main things is working under pressure because you are juggling so many things.

Moore also mentioned some red flags that would cause Anzu not to hire a candidate. “Sometimes an applicant does not demonstrate good English skills in phone interviews. Having good communication skills is important for a client-facing position. Also, people sometimes exaggerate their skills or experience. Another red flag is if the person has a bad track record (if they change jobs every nine months, for example).” ‘

Anzu often hires for project management contract positions in large companies. “Clients usually come to us when they need a steady stream of contractors (three or six months), then in three or six months there will be other contractors. Te positions are usually project managers or testers. If you already work fulltime, a contract position may not be that attractive. However, if you are a newcomer or have just graduated, and you want to get some experience, then it is a great opportunity. You would spend three, six or 12 months at a company, and it is a very good line on the résumé.”

Do you need a localization degree? 

There is no firm answer to the question of whether or not you need a degree. If you don’t know what you should do, it can certainly help. Troyer discussed how the localization program at MIIS has evolved to ft current real-world pressures. “The program was first started in 2004, and it started small. We were first giving CAT tools, localization project management and software localization courses. This is
the core you need to become a project manager. Ten the program evolved and we introduced the introduction and then advanced levels to many courses. There are currently four or five courses focusing on translation
technology.” Recent additions to the curriculum include advanced JavaScript classes, advanced project management and program management. Natural language processing and computational linguistics will be added down the road. “The industry is driving this move because students will need skills to go in and localize Siri into many languages,” said Troyer.

The program at MIIS is a two-year master’s. It can be reduced to one year for those who already have experience. There are other degrees
available, as well as certification programs offered by institutions such as the University of Washington and The Localization Institute.

Moore said that though a localization degree is not a must, it has a distinct advantage. A lot of students have internships that give them experience. They also know tools, which makes their résumés better fit clients’ job descriptions.

However, both Troyer and Ritzdorf said you don’t necessarily need a degree. “If you have passion for languages and technology, you can get the training on your own,” said Troyer. “Just teach yourself these skills, network on your own and try to break into the industry.”

The future of localization project management

Automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning are affecting all industries, and localization is not an exception. However, all the interviewees forecast that there will be more localization jobs in the future.

According to Johnson, there is high project management turnover on the vendor side because if a person is a good manager, they never stay in this position for more than five years. “After that, they either get a job on the client’s side to make twice as much money and have a much easier job, or their LSP has to promote them to senior positions such as group manager or program director.”

“There is a huge opportunity to stop doing things that are annoying,” said Troyer. “Automation will let professionals work on the human side
of things and let the machines run 
day-to-day tasks. Letting the machine send files back and forth will allow humans to spend more time looking at texts and thinking about what questions a translator can ask. This will give them more time for building a personal relationship with the client. We are taking these innovations into consideration for the curriculum, and I often spend time during classes asking, ‘How can you automate this?’”

Moore stated that “we have seen automation change workflows over the last ten years and reduce the project manager’s workload, with files being automatically moved through each step in the localization process. Also, automation and machine translation go hand-in-hand to make the process faster, more efficient and cost-effective.”

The Translation Industry in 2022

The Translation Industry in 2022

In this report, TAUS shares predictions for the future of the translation industry in line with their expectation that automation will accelerate in the translation sector during the coming 5 years. The anticipated changes will inevitably bring along various challenges and opportunities all of which are explained thoroughly in the Translation Industry in 2022 Report.

The report explains the following 6 drivers of change

1. Machine Learning

Machine learning (ML) was introduced in the 1950s as a subset of artificial intelligence (AI), to have programs feed on data, recognize patterns in it, and draw inferences from them. 2016 was the year when ML went mainstream, with a lot of applications that were almost unimaginable a few years earlier – image recognition and self-driving cars are just two examples.Computational power and unprecedented advances in deep neural networks will make data-driven technologies astonishingly disruptive. This might be also the case of MT.

As a rule, the growth of machine intelligence represents a threat to many human jobs as people will be replaced by intelligent systems.  The majority of creative jobs is relatively safe while sales jobs could be at risk. The forecast is dubious for technology jobs, but the more senior jobs being relatively secure, while computer programmers and support workers may likely be replaced.  The assumption that jobs requiring manual dexterity, creativity, and social skills are the hardest to computerize is already obsolete: new developments in deep learning are making machines more powerful than anticipated, especially in areas relating to creativity and social interaction. 

In the translation industry – as in other industries – many functions will be affected – whether enhanced, expanded or replaced – by ML.

2. Machine Translation

In the past years NMT has been said to be achieving impressive results, and it is more and more often presented as a replacement for SMT. Advances in artificial neural networks are bringing extremely high expectations, suggesting that NMT could rapidly achieve higher accuracy than SMT. Independent evaluators fnd that NMT translations are more fluent and more accurate in terms of word order compared to those produced by phrase-based systems. Better quality MT will mean that a broader range of document types and audiences can be addressed.
NMT will help the further expansion of speech-to-speech (S2S) technologies, now available mostly as English-based monolingual systems. Transforming these into multilingual systems implies many deep and expensive changes. Most S2S technologies are still at an infancy stage and confned to university labs. NMT will help bring speech-enabled devices to the streets.

MT will lead to the ultimate disruption in the translation industry when, only the premium segment of artsy—and possibly life sciences—
translation will remain tradable.

3. Quality Management

Due to the uncertainties intrinsically involved in translation quality assessment, and the fixity of the relevant concepts in the translation community, users seem now willing to accept good enough MT output, especially for large volumes, delivered virtually in real time. For serviceable MT output with no human intervention downstream, TAUS coined the acronym FAUT (Fully Automated Useful Translation) already in 2007. Investing in quality-related decision support tools has become essential to gain translation project insights and beneft from MT.
Applying machine learning to data-driven translation quality assessment will be a disruptive innovation that will call for a major shift in conception and attitude.  Data-driven applications in translation quality assessment will go from document classifiers to style scorers, from comparison tools to automatic and predictive quality assessment, from content sampling to automatic error detection and identification. The data-driven approach to quality will require another major attitude shift.

4. Data

There is a strong need for data scientists/specialists/analysts, but this profile is still absent from the translation industry.

Data has been the fuel of automation, and after entering the automation era at full speed, we are being challenged with many issues.  Translation data is typically metadata: data about translation that can be harvested downstream the closure of a translation project/job/task.  The analysis of translation data can provide a very valuable insight into the translation processes to find the best resource for a job, to decide what to translate and which technology to use for which content. Translation data will be more and more frequently generated by algorithms. More data will come from rating staff and KPIs. All these kinds of data will come from ML applied to translation management platforms, which will get rid of human involvement.

Erroneously, also data covering multilingual text resources is labeled as translation data. In fact, language data specifically consists of translation memories, corpora, and lexicographical and terminological collections. Of course, all these resources have metadata too, which could be exploited. Stakeholders should become more open and massively start sharing their translation metadata to make it the real big data of the translation industry.

There is a strong need for data scientists/specialists/analysts, but this profile is still absent from the translation industry. Translation companies should be looking out for these specialists who can mine and use data for automation. This will most probably lead to a further reduction of the number of translation companies that are able to float and thrive in a more and more competitive market. The challenge for the next few years might be the standardization of translation data in order to shape it and make it convenient for users to derive the maximum benefits from it.

5.  Interoperability

Interoperability is the ability of two different systems to communicate and work together through a common language or interface. While many other industries have flourished thanks to standardization which led to interoperability, automation and innovation, the translation industry has always suffered from a lack of interoperability. This has been costing a fortune for years, both on the client side (in translation
budgets) and on the vendor side (in revenues).
  Things have been changing a lot since 2011, when TAUS published a report on the costs from
lack of interoperability in the translation industry
. Many blame the lack of compliance to interchange format standards as the primary barrier to interoperability, and no one believes any longer that true interoperability in the translation industry can be achieved only through awareness programs, education, and certifications. Interoperability should come from the adoption of standards created by consortia and not from the dominance of a market leader.

The spreading of MT has forced a breakthrough in the interoperability dilemma, starting a wave of innovation and renewed efforts. Most of these efforts have still been focusing on APIs though, as XML has been established for years as the common language, bringing everyone the industry to find its child formats TMX and XLIFF essentially enough.  So far, most of the many APIs made available are meant to simplify the translation business process and reduce translation management and overhead cost. Only a few have been designed to help disintermediation and facilitate access to services.

In this case, we could expect that the most influential buyers of localization and translation services will advance their requests; the technology vendors with the necessary technological and financial resources will fulfill those requests or even introduce their own solutions on the market, just as it happened in the past.

6.  Academy

Translation education is vocational by definition: it prepares people to work in the trade as translators. None of the skills translation students acquire is anything but sophisticated.  Today, many players in the translation industry complain about the lack of good translators, but they seem to ignore that, more than in many other academic fields, translation education follows obsolete models that are still shaped for the 20th century. To make matters worse, the gap between the academic world and the industry is so wide that, when approaching the job market, translation graduates instantly and bitterly realize they don’t know much about the actual work they are supposed to do. They also discover that the world is not interested in their basic skills.

The future may not really need translators, at least not in the old way, as the audience will become even more forgiving for lesser quality of fast-moving content. A highly-automated localization environment will depend on human skills in quality evaluation, content profiling, cultural advisory, data analysis, computational linguistics, and gradually less and less in post-editing; translating plain text will indeed be a long-tail business.

The success of any innovation depends entirely on the people that are going to nurture, develop, and implement it; in times of exponential growth, education is vital to drive adoption and prepare the next generations of workers. Employers should play a part in closing the skills gap with continued professional training. It is never too early to prepare for the future; vast workforce and organizational changes are necessary to upend stale business models and related processes.

For more details, download the full report.

Trello: Collaborative Task and Project Management

Trello: Collaborative Task and Project Management

Organizing our lives these days has become difficult. Thanks to websites and software dedicated to project management and organization of routines, you can now get your tasks sorted in a priority order. Here we are reviewing Trello, a free project management tool that can be used by individuals and businesses alike for managing their work. Not only does Trello make your life easier, but it also provides a lot of convenience that regular email communication does not provide. Let’s see how to use Trello to manage your tasks.

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Word Count Using CountFast OR CountOnIt

Word Count Using CountFast OR CountOnIt

Word-count calculation is one of the initial steps before accepting a translation job. Although the most accurate way would be to use “Analysis” or “Statistics” features offered by TEnTs (a.k.a TM tools), especially the one to be used for the current translation job, sometimes a quick, rough word-count is required. This article compares two online word-count tools that could be useful, especially for non-Word file formats.

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To ZIP or not to ZIP

To ZIP or not to ZIP

Compress… Extract… What, why, and how?

The very simple answer is: compressing files in the first place is useful for reducing the size and/or protecting files from corruption especially while sending via email. Compressed files can be in formats such as ZIP or RAR. Extracting a compressed archive means copying the inclosed files into a regular folder to be able to deal with the files safely.

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Projetex 10 Released!

Projetex 10 Released!

A bunch of new features and compatibility with Windows 8 and 8.1

Compatibility

  • Full support of Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012.
  • Compatibility of built-in AnyCount Engine with Microsoft Office 2013

Analytics

  • Application-wide support for base volume units, similarly to base currency.
  • New Group by option with calculation of subtotals in most tables displayed.
  • Experience Stats for Corporate Experts

Automation

Projetex Automation Engine:

  • Email reminders for Projects, Clients, Quotes, Client Jobs, Corporate Jobs, Freelance Jobs, Invoices, POs.
  • Email reminder templates customization.
  • Email reminder log.

Security

  • Audit logging.
  • Reports can be assigned to different groups.

Flexibility

  • Corporate Experts can now be paid both by hours and by words, etc.
  • Corporate Experts now can have their currencies, price lists, payments, balances, etc.
  • A new “Base Unit” feature with a possibility to set units exchange rates.
  • “Mark as Paid” button for POs.
  • “Create Invoice” button for Edit Client Job window.
  • Folder sorting is now available in Projetex File Manager.
  • A date of annual numbering resets is now selectable.
  • Quotes can now include taxes and discounts.
  • Now Jobs can be modified within an Invoice, JA or PO edit window.
  • Credit Notes.

Integrity

More control on the alerts for wrong input:

  • Expert Job Total exceeds the Client Job’s Total;
  • Expert Job Volume exceeds the Client Job’s Volume;
  • Expert Job Deadline is later than the Client Job’s Deadline

Reporting

5 new reports:

  • Corporate Expert – Completed Jobs – selected month;
  • Freelance Experts – Total Orders;
  • Sales List;
  • User Activity by types – selected period and user;
  • Users Activity by types – selected period;

Bonus

  • Automatic display of local time at client or translator location.

Learn more about Projetx at: http://www.projetex.com/product-info/benefits/