Workflow flexibility – Centralize control, decentralize execution
Workflow flexibility – Centralize control, decentralize execution illustration

Workflow flexibility

Traditionally organizations purchase a set of services from Language Service Providers (LSPs). Service agreements and rates are based on a 1, 2 or sometimes 3 plus steps such as translation (human or Machine Translation (MT)), proofreading/post-editing, post-processing etc.

However, an organization’s translation needs often go beyond a simple 1, 2, 3 step process and can go beyond the vendor. As a localization program matures and an organization seeks to gain more control over its processes and translation assets, its needs for customization will increase.

When you compare localization programs from multiple organizations there are many variables that differ, creating a need for user customizable workflows:

Selection and assignment of different vendors or freelancers – Organizations may work with a variety of vendors and/or freelancers. The selection may vary depending on language, subject matter, time zone, turn-around times, skill sets, size of project or many other factors.

Internal or in-country language resources – Many organizations rely on internal language teams for the translation and/or review of some or all the languages they offer customers. Language teams may be centralized or located in regional offices; they may specialize in different types of content (e.g. Technical, marketing, support etc.)

Additional workflow steps required – In addition to the traditional steps (translation, proofreading, post-processing), an organization may want to expand its workflow to include other steps, e.g. Internal review, DTP, Audio Engineering, Software localization, LQA, in-context reviews, etc.

Types of content to be localized – The content an organization needs to localize may come from a variety of sources and be intended for different purposes and audiences (UI, technical documentation, marketing, digital, social media, support etc.). Each type of content will not only require different linguistic resources, but also customized workflows.

Given all these variables, when it comes to translation workflow the options for customization can be endless. In order to maintain efficiency in the process and ensure quality output, localization departments must adapt workflows to suit the various scenarios that are unique for each organization. Additionally, workflows should be constantly reassessed and adapted to the organization’s changing needs.

It is therefore imperative for a Translation Management System (TMS) to offer localization departments optimal flexibility in setting up customized workflows. The TMS should allow project managers in a central department to control processes and quality, assign tasks to a variety of resources, and enable them to:

  • Create any number of customized workflow steps that are unique to an organization.
  • Include any number of steps in a workflow.
  • Combine the steps in any sequence dictated by the specific scenario.
  • Assign each step to a specific resource or group of resources.
  • Monitor the progress of each step in the workflow.
  • Create workflow templates for automatic re-use.
  • Alter workflows on all languages or individual languages even after a project has commenced.
  • Run reports on each step as well as on the entire workflow.

In order for organizations to gain more control over their localization processes, they need TMS tools to give them the ability to set up the workflow that makes most sense for their specific industry, content type, translation resources (internal and external) and their locations.
TMS tools with rigid workflow structures will fall short of servicing mature localization departments.

Alessandra Binazzi is a Localization management consultant focused on developing localization programs tailored to needs of companies just venturing into or at the early stages of a multilingual business strategy. Specialized in the iGaming sector with particular attention to sportsbook localization.;