A Peek into the World of a Localization Project Manager

Localization is a hot topic, and not without reason. Localization, or adjusting and translating products and services (mostly websites, software and video games) to accommodate cultural differences around the world, is invaluable to a business wanting to go global.

It can be a complicated process, involving multiple departments and teams, and that is where the

Localization Project Manager comes in. So what does a Localization Project Manager actually do? In a nutshell, he or she runs the entire localization project, from start to end.

As an example, consider a company wishing to translate and localize their website. A project manager works closely with the technical/development team, evaluating the source content, identifying any localization issues as well as any discrepancies. The project manager then determines the best way to translate the material and organize the project activities by implementing a sound localization strategy. Part of this strategy involves cost management – developing and monitoring the cost and timing schedule of the project.

Once translation of the website begins, the project manager’s human resources skills come into play as he or she must liaise and manage all translation teams and proofreaders making sure linguistics, technology and quality are up to par. A localization project manager will also work closely with the marketing department, making sure the tone of the content and the information itself adhere to corporate identity guidelines.

All the while, a project manager continuously monitors the entire process, advising the teams on specific localization needs (such as target market and audience), and suggesting improvements to ensure the project is running smoothly and deadlines are met. Once translation is completed, the localization project manager together with the technical team, test and implement the final output.