At Palex, the opinion of who is responsible for translation quality assurance changed several times over the last few years. At first, the translator was the one to get all the scolding after a client sent back bad reviews. After all, the translator is the one who didn't choose the right terms for financial market transactions, house plants, or medical instruments.
Later, the responsibility was partially shifted to the project manager, because they are the ones that choose the people to work on the project. As such, if the translation is bad, the PM is responsible for putting a linguist on the job who is unfamiliar with the subject matter. This system seemed logical and existed at Palex for several years.
Project managers would react to customer complaints, but their work couldn't be called proper quality management. They could even refuse to work with a vendor after receiving bad feedback from the client, though the problem may have been solved by creating a glossary of a dozen words. On the other hand, the PM would spend hours drafting a fifty-page instruction manual, while all they had to do was find a new translator.
It wasn't that the PMs were incompetent. They just didn't have time to carefully analyze client requests and feedback — as we all know, the daily life of a PM is filled with translator CAT tool issues, a pile of client instructions to go through, and hot deadlines to meet. This routine didn't give time to sit down and think about how to avoid mistakes.
This is when I became the head of the Palex translation department in 2014. I saw that I had to come up with a way to control quality of all translations going through the agency, which is when I got an idea to completely remove the responsibility for quality assurance from the PMs and shift it to the people for whom this would become the main daily task.