By Anastasia McGee
There are Project Managers working in many industries these days. Localization and Dubbing Project Managers often have to coordinate people and files across the globe to complete the work for their clients on time. Let’s look at some of the things that Top Project Managers know and do to keep their projects on time and on spec.
1. Build a relationship with your client.
The first and most important thing to do is to get to know your client. You are the advocate for your client within your organization. In some cases, you may be the only person in your organization that ever interacts with the client. By getting to know them, and their deliverable requirements, you can help your team deliver a higher quality product.
If you are lucky enough to be in the same city as your client, schedule an in-person meeting with them at least once a year. If you aren’t that lucky, try to talk on the phone at least once a year. Talking is better than email at keeping that personal connection.
2. Build a relationship with your team.
Everyone in your organization from Data Ops to Translators to Editorial to Rendering is important to quality files. They know more about their area of expertise than you do. Ask their opinions. Pass on any compliments that you receive from the clients to the appropriate team members. Thank them when they go the extra step for you. Listen to their concerns.
If you have a strong team working with you, you are already halfway to being on time and on spec.
3. Don’t be the plug in the pipeline.
In a lot of organizations, things bounce back to the Project Manager before they can move along to the next person in the pipeline. Move those things off your desk as quickly as possible. Does a translator or editor have a question that needs to be answered? Get that question out to the client or other department straight away. Do you have to personally do something so that a file is rendered or delivered once the editor and/or translator have finished it? Make that a priority.
4. Keep the lines of communication open.
If you know that one or more departments in your organization is at or near capacity, let your clients know that you may need extended turnaround times during a specific period of time. Certain times of the year are difficult for certain territories, such as Lunar New Year for Asian translators, so give your client notice ahead of time that translator or editor availability will be reduced.
It is also a good idea to let them know in advance when you will be out of the office and who will be covering for you so they know who to
contact if something comes up.
5. Have good backup.
This is probably the most difficult. Many organizations have people who are highly specialized on only one client’s workflow or only one type of work. Cross-training people on various clients is an excellent way to ensure that everyone has a backup in the event of an emergency. Territory Managers are usually far better at this than Project Managers.
Oftentimes, Project Managers just don’t have the bandwidth in their day to stop and train or be trained. The next best thing is to compile good notes on each client, jobs in progress, upcoming jobs, etc. and have them accessible on your organization’s shared server.