Project management for localization of a package
of documents for a series of ADS devices
This case is about the implementation of a large complex project for a series of devices from our valued partner Brother. The project was designed over a year and included localization in 23 European and Asian languages. A schedule had to be drawn up taking into account the client’s requirements in terms of the delivery time of the manuals, as well as distributing the workload among departments and performers.
Our long-term and much valued client Brother approached us with a project to localize several types of manuals (Quick setup guide / User's guide / Network user guide / Web connection guide) for a series of ADS devices. The work on each manual involved preparing files for translation, translation itself and editing, layout, and intermediate checks on the client side.
We needed to create a localization schedule in such a way that the periods of translation, layout and review were separated from each other as much as possible, while the deadlines stated by the client were respected.
As in any real project, after agreeing on the schedule and starting the work, unforeseen situations began to occur, which could have led to delays both in the overall deadline of the project and in the delivery of individual manuals. It was necessary to manage the schedule and workload in a changing situation. For example, the Quick Setup Guide was scheduled to be delivered first, but, some pictures from the client were missing, and we had to wait for these, which shifted the delivery time of this particular manual, and as a result the whole project, which affected our well-planned workload as well.
We created an Excel file with a schedule to cope with the challenge. It automatically built a Gantt chart for each language with color indication of stages.
The client divided the languages into blocks, according to which one block of the languages had to be ready on the first-priority bases, the other - on the second, etc.
In turn we broke the work down by days and stages so that the translators could cope with the load, and the employees at the client's offices could check the quality of translation into their language in all manuals successively rather than simultaneously.
However, thanks to the schedule in Excel and a plan in MS Project, after receiving new input from the client, we always managed to quickly adjust the workload and deadlines, redistribute the team and, most importantly, provide for the intersection of localization stages on the horizon of several months to prevent a critical shift in the project deadline.