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Elanex project management_in_an_agile world_141029

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Presentation given at roundtable discussion "(Re)mixing Workflows: Localization Processes Forum" on October 29, 2014 at the Localization World Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

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Elanex project management_in_an_agile world_141029

  1. 1. + © 2014 by Elanex, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Localization Project Management in an ‘Agile’ world Troy Helm Senior Vice President, Operations Elanex, Inc.
  2. 2. + Overview Project Management in an ‘Agile’ world:  The ‘old’ days and the new reality  Content development and deployment is changing  The challenge for LSPs  Automation of processes is key  Technology example: expressIt 2 Localization World Vancouver 2014 29 October 2014
  3. 3. + Out with the Old -- Waterfall In with the New -- Agile  Software development and localization  Major and minor version releases  Help files in shrink-wrapped software boxes  CD-ROMs duplicated and distributed  Brochures/Manuals Recalls for errors very costly  Software development: origin of Agile  Key driver is digital distribution: web pages, PDFs, eLearning, etc.  Instant distribution Updates are easy and inexpensive  “The era of multi-month mega-projects is over” 3 Localization World Vancouver 2014 29 October 2014
  4. 4. + Content development/deployment is changing  App and website content is never ‘final’  “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done.” - get it out there, then improve it  Smaller, faster initial deployments  Rapid and continuous updates and corrections  For some clients (but not all), ‘perfect translation quality’ isn’t critical because errors can be fixed quickly. 4 Localization World Vancouver 2014 29 October 2014
  5. 5. + The challenge for LSPs  From: Traditional project management  Gantt charted, weekly team meetings, major milestones  To: “Air traffic control” project management  One PM handles 10-20+ small projects simultaneously  You can’t wait until the “next weekly meeting” to fix/discuss it  Issues:  Fewer words in each request  PM expense out of proportion  No “minimum fee”  how to cover/reduce costs?  Small jobs eaten as part of larger engagement What happens when small requests become a significant feature of client relationships? 5 Localization World Vancouver 2014 29 October 2014
  6. 6. + Conundrum  Translation takes too long: Use MT  Is time to translate truly the issue for small projects?  The smaller the update, the less speed benefit from MT  Where are we actually losing time? Automated Standard 6 Localization World Vancouver 2014 29 October 2014
  7. 7. + Automation of processes is key  At Elanex, our primary response was complete shift in perspective on project management  Project management tasks in localization are highly repetitive  By automating PM activities at the task level, we allow our human PMs to focus limited time and attention on problem-solving 7 Receive files from translators Keep project on Schedule Project Manager (typically available only 8 of 24 hours) Send files to translators Prepare files for transmittal Identify resources, costs Develop project schedule Perform analysis (word count, etc.) Receive files from customer Send files for proofing Receive files from editors Build final TM Assemble files for customer Send files to customer Close project, billing, etc. Localization World Vancouver 2014 29 October 2014
  8. 8. + expressIt: Fully Automated PM  Successful for Elanex  Project timelines reduced as much as an order of magnitude  One ‘exception-handler’ PM can monitor 50-100 projects simultaneously  Project managers don’t miss drudgery of admin work normally generated by large numbers of small projects  Successful for Clients  Able to place orders instantly (24/7), without waiting for their usual account manager (or any human) to be available  Receive standard high-quality work product from human translators, much faster than ‘normal’  Clients love the lower pricing for small requests  No ‘rush fees’ 8 Localization World Vancouver 2014 29 October 2014
  9. 9. 9 Localization World Vancouver 2014 29 October 2014
  10. 10. + © 2014 by Elanex, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Thank you! Troy Helm Senior Vice President, Operations Elanex, Inc. troy.helm@elanex.com

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