Modern translation is a complex process that needs to take many factors into account. To manage such process without automation is almost impossible and has a high risk of human error. At the Alba translation agency we use a translation project management system of our own design. As a result we have software product that fully meets our requirements allowing us to address the following tasks:
1. Data storage of all the previously completed projects allows us quickly to find quickly all the information about any order that we have carried out for each client.
We can therefore provide continuity in such work even if the normal project manager is not available (for example, through illness or vacation).
2. The collation of information on all the stages of completion of every project, together with reference to the staff involved and the time spent provides the project manager and the chief editor with full control over managing each process.
3. A further in-house designed software product enables Alba to track the time spent on a project by editors and translators - time-tracker Editor’s Little Helper. The utility was first implemented at the beginning of 2016 and it has provided us with the opportunity for objective assessment of the work required during the editing of any text, and the ability to formalize translation assessment criteria and to automate the editor’s reporting on the text quality.
4. The storage of detailed information relating to each client includes is not only their banking details but also all the supporting materials sent by the client (glossaries, translation memory files, any special instructions, translation examples they have provided). However much time may have passed since the receipt of the materials, the system will remind the project manager of them, so that he can ensure that they are still relevant and that all the project team members make appropriate use of them.
5. Our system store the information on our staff and freelance translators and editors, their language combinations and subjects, the software they can use, their current and planned workloads, and forthcoming vacations. Thus the system can prevent the project manager from assigning a specialist, whose qualifications do not fit the project parameters in at least one criterion (subject specification, software, language combination).
6. The automation of routine work (preparation and costing of contracts, order forms, accounts and work completion certificates) allows project managers to focus on the really important things - the speed and high-quality provision of linguistic services to the client.