localization-team

[EBOOK] How to create a strong localization team according to 10+ experts

There are two key elements to achieving successful localization:

  • The right people on your team
  • The tools to help these people do their best work

Whether you’re just getting started with localization or you’ve struggled with organizing your project in the past, learning more about the localization process and its key stakeholders will help you accelerate your efforts toward success. With the help of industry experts, we wrote an ebook to provide you with some initial guidance.

By understanding what each person on the team’s responsibilities and the issues they may face, you will be better equipped to assemble the best localization team and set realistic expectations. 

You can download the ebook here.

What’s included in the ebook

We worked with localization experts from a wide variety of disciplines to distill their experience and advice into an easy-to-read resource that you can reference and share with your organization.  

So, what unique value will you get by downloading this ebook? Here’s a content overview:

  • Exclusive insights and tips from localization experts 
  • Details about roles & responsibilities as well as typical challenges
  • Advice on how to ensure the process runs smoothly & efficiently
  • Information on how software can bring stakeholders together to make localization easier

Continue reading for a sneak peek of the content, plus three key takeaways.

#1 There are many different ways to organize your localization process (and improve it, too)

How your localization process will look depends on several factors like the type of product you’re adapting, the markets into which you’re expanding, project size, available resources, and more. However, there are several stakeholders that should make up every localization team:

  • Software developers and designers
  • Product, project, and localization managers
  • Copywriters, marketers, and translators
  • QA specialists and reviewers

It’s worth mentioning that some of these roles overlap and may not be involved depending on each localization project’s details and the company’s expansion plans. This might involve people wearing multiple hats or even excluding some steps from the process.

Even if you have modest resources, you can still run a successful localization process if you have a good understanding of each person’s role on the team.

Organizations that are just getting started with localization tend to rely on the tools they already use.

Spreadsheets are a common go-to solution here, but by switching to a dedicated translation management system, teams see a 75% boost in productivity which means you can get more done, faster. Software that’s built as a collaborative localization platform helps not just translators but developers, designers, and other stakeholders, too.

In recent years, localization has moved from waterfall to agile, and then from agile to a continuous delivery workflow. By adopting this type of workflow, fast-paced and hypergrowth companies are ensuring that their localized content is always ready for release.

If your company isn’t quite there yet, there are still smart changes you can make such as starting localization at the design stage, which is beneficial for literally everyone involved in the localization process.

Did you know? Having an agreed standard of excellence — approved tone of voice guidelines and principles to which people can adhere and use as their goal, is the first step to structuring a localization process with developers involved. We learned this from Nadim Dimechkie, Director of Copy at TransferGo.

Download the ebook to discover more.

#2 Understand who does what in the localization process to find your missing piece (or reorganize your puzzle)

Let’s take a deeper look at the main job roles in the localization process and their key responsibilities: 

RoleKey responsibility
Localization Project ManagersOverseeing end-to-end localization workflow and coordinating all stakeholders.
Software DevelopersInitiating the localization process by adding string identifiers (i.e., keys) to the product code, as well as fixing bugs and taking full care of the back end of your digital product.
DesignersEnsuring your product looks and feels right to ensure that it resonates with your multilingual customers.
Marketing SpecialistsIdentifying what content needs to be localized or developed from scratch in order to create a relatable experience for global customers.
Content TeamPreparing all the content that needs to be localized and/or participating in transcreation to ensure it’s well adapted for the target market.
Translators and LSPsTranslators are responsible for translating core content from one language to another.

As companies that offer various translation, interpretation, localization, and other language services, LSPs are seen as one-stop-shop solutions. 

Product ManagersEducating all stakeholders in the localization process about your product while also identifying requirements, tools, technologies, and the overall strategy.
Quality Assurance Experts and ReviewersEstablishing a rigorous review process through proofreading and checks in order to ensure the agreed translation quality.

Each role has its place in the localization process. Now you can compare your current process and map out who may be missing.

For instance, if you’re repeatedly ending up with translation errors, it could be a sign that you need to invest in a higher quality translation service or in dedicated QA professionals and reviewers. It’s also possible that the unsatisfactory output is due to poor project management or unrealistic expectations.

The challenging part remains in finding a viable way to: 1) establish a workflow that everyone can adjust to, and to 2) support them in doing their best work. It’s also important to determine the optimal level of your involvement in the process.

Did you know? Product managers should be involved from the beginning of the localization process and work closely with UX design and development. That way they’ll be able to identify and discuss strategy and timeline, product requirements, tools and technologies, translation options and process, as Tatiana Shanler, Platform Product Manager at EBSCO Information Services shared with us.

Download the ebook to find out more about the best way to organize your localization process.

#3 Awareness of pain points means you’re halfway to resolving them

Here’s an important note: although everyone participating in a localization project is working toward the same end goal, they also each have specific goals within their roles (or individual milestones they want to achieve, if you will). 

To ensure the team works as one, you should understand the pain points of each role and figure out how to remove them from the equation. 

For instance, for translators, pain points can be about missing visual context or lacking the glossary and standards to follow.

For developers, it’s the tedious manual work such as synchronizing translations between the TMS and code repository.

For designers, it’s making sure the translations fit the design and preserving brand identity across different markets. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to individual challenges that affect the output and common localization issues.

Did you know? 90% of localization issues can be solved in the source content. That’s what Chris Englund, Vice President of International Operations at ActiveCampaign shared with us. Providing the right context to translators and documenting localization guidelines can set you up for success.

Download the ebook to learn more.

To find a proper solution, you first need to become acquainted with the problems people face while doing their part in the localization process. When you look inwards and approach your localization systematically, you’ll see that things can be a lot simpler than they currently are.

The next steps

You want to succeed at localization, right? Success can be measured in many different ways, but it is most commonly perceived through a financial lens. Whether it’s revenue growth, shorter time to market, fewer translation errors, or better productivity, in the end: it all makes an impact on your company’s bottom line.

Here’s what we suggest:

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