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Japanese Translation: Are You Costing Your Company Money? Part 2


Sound project management is crucial to taking possession of a quality, error free project. Failure to implement a project management system leads to a cascade of translation errors, or worse.

Japanese Translation Project Management

Read complete article: Winging it -- No project management for translation or localization

Real World Example

My company, a Japanese translation services company based in Japan (Tokyo), was approached to handle the English Japanese translation and localization of a global marketing brochure for a world renowned marketing firm some years back. Right from the go get it became apparent this project was sorely lacking project management:

  • Already translated text needed to be re-translated as new revisions constantly kept rolling in.
  • The English materials contained text from other language versions of the brochure.
  • The text contained historically inaccurate facts which the client was not even aware of.
  • Regional branch managers from around the world were phoning us asking for specific revisions, which were then being over ridden by other regional managers, and then again by the head office.
  • Our role morphed from that of a translation/localization service provider to consulting as the person steering the project had no clue how to implement and manage a global translation project.


Effective Project Management

Implementation of a translation project management system would have:

  1. Ensured adequate planning
    In an undertaking as complex as translation and localization (especially on a global level), adequate planning is essential for achieving successful project completion. (Surprised? That’s right -- Without trying to aggrandize my profession, translation and localization is NOT a trivial matter, or an after thought to more “important” processes if you will.)
  2. Ensured appropriate resources
    While “resources” can apply to just about anything required for successful project completion, here I specifically refer to personnel. Qualified personnel are the linchpin in any project because they can keep, or even bring back, a project on track. A project management system is essential to assign the right personnel to the right task.
  3. Ensured accurate communication
    Tracking communications with a project management system would have eliminated miscommunications and the resulting problems of mistrust between the various project stakeholders that ensued.
  4. Ensured quality control
    This was essentially the root cause of all problems in this project. Applying in-house quality controls via a project management system would have ensured that service providers received the finalized copy of materials for translation, thus completely eliminating the need for endless revisions that eventually lead to project melt down.
  5. Minimized project costs
    No matter how you rationalize it, a 2 week project that runs for nearly 6 months is going to cost a whole lot more than budgeted for. More importantly, and what is often not recognized, are the hidden costs of a project that runs off track. For example, since your staff is tied up with the current project, they are unable to continue with other more pressing projects -- A contagion effect of slipped deadlines develops leading to costs piling up.


Not enough can be said about the importance of sound project management!

Reduce and eliminate translation errors -- Project management doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg

The cost as measured by lost revenue due to translation errors of NOT implementing a project management solution is far, far greater than implementing even a basic solution…

Read complete article: Winging it -- No project management for translation or localization



About the Author
Ivan Vandermerwe is the CEO of SAECULII YK, the owner of Translation Services Japan based in Tokyo. Visit SAECULII for the latest professional articles and news on Japanese Translation Services

Copyright (C) SAECULII YK. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this article is permitted with inclusion of the "About the Author" reference as is (including text links, japan-translators.saeculii.com/english/services/japanese-translation-services.cfm), and this copyright information. Articles may not be altered without written permission from SAECULII YK.

Tags: English Japanese Translation · Japanese Translation Services · Professional · Translation Articles · Translation errors · Translation project management · Translation quality







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