XTM Insights
Three strategies to increase productivity for localization managers
Three strategies to increase productivity for localization managers illustration
Aleix Gwilliam
AuthorAleix Gwilliam
Reading time 10 minutes

As a localization manager, you have probably asked yourself multiple times “How can I make this process more efficient?”. Realizing the potential for improvements is a great first step, sometimes processes can be so deeply ingrained that they are not evaluated often enough to realize that change can bring a lot of value. Having inefficient processes can impact meeting strategic goals. Here are three different strategies that you can implement to increase your localization program’s productivity and, as a result, turn it into a difference-maker in your organization’s overall business strategy.

What are the risks of an ineffective localization strategy?

The success of a company’s global content strategy depends on the success or failure of its localization program. Making sure that a localization program and its processes are efficient is one of the biggest challenges localization managers face, and its level of efficiency is directly related to the technology stack the program is using. Assessing inefficiency risk requires a deep dive into all the existing processes in which technology is involved and asking the following questions:

  • Is your technology stack enabling your program or holding it back?
  • Which tasks are being done manually and could they be automated?
  • Are you aware of the latest industry trends and approaches and how they could improve your strategy?

Answering these and related questions will give you a starting point to whether the localization program and strategy are inefficient and at what level: Low, Medium or High (see image box). The consequences of inefficiency will vary depending on your level, ranging from minor delays in the best of cases to delayed time-to-market and even damage to your brand image and reputation in the worst of cases.

A decade ago, the Localization Manager of a manufacturing company in the United States came to the realization that her localization program was not producing its expected results when she continuously started receiving negative feedback from customers, with comments such as “It doesn’t feel like it’s my product” or “You can tell it’s a US-based product.” The reason for this was because the content was not being properly localized for each market, and this was a direct result of the inefficiency of the program and its tools, resources and processes. She explained how “user experience is very important to us, but you can only deliver a good user experience if you have a good localization ecosystem.”

Customer dissatisfaction was the first obvious sign that there were issues within the program. From an internal point of view, duplication of work was another, since their whole localization process was decentralized and siloed teams were not communicating with each other. This didn’t just impact consistency in their brand message but also incurred additional costs, since the same content was being translated twice or more times when it could have been leveraged if translators had been using the same translation memory (TM). These issues once identified served as a turning point to carry out a complete overhaul of the company’s program and strategy.

These are just some of the most common inefficiency risks companies can come across. However, with the hundreds of existing processes that can be part of a localization program, each company will have their own particular inefficiency risks, and assessing them will require a more in-depth exploration of each process. Below are three strategies that localization managers can undertake which will impact a wide range of different processes and can help make localization programs more efficient.

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