Handling multilingual content can be unorganized and time consuming. To help your entire organization thrive with their multilingual content efforts, here are some key guidelines and best practices.
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Does your organization handle multiple translation providers? Manage translations and multilingual content only on the department level? Have little to no insight into translation processes across different teams, divisions or centers?
If any of these questions elicits an emphatic “yes, absolutely,” your company might be caught inefficiently managing multilingual content without anyone even knowing it. And while it may seem like this process is working for you and your team, it could be doing your company a lot more harm than you realize.
To help your entire organization prosper with their multilingual content efforts, we’ve prepared some key guidelines and best practices.
1. Define the corporate strategy
To plot out where you’re going, you need to keep in mind where you came from. Building a strategy is essential when first adopting a centralized localization model. Assess what isn’t working with current processes and analyze the best routes to take when localizing your content. This will paint a clearer picture of the process, people and technology you need to succeed. The goal is to promote efficiency, while taking the needs of all the stakeholders into consideration.
A big benefit of a centralized strategy is that it establishes a mission or goal for your company. However, it should still allow for enough autonomy to address the specific business needs for each individual department or user. If you are not sure where to start, we have dedicated expert teams that conduct an assessment of your localization needs. This independent evaluation maps out your company’s current localization process, identifies areas for improvement and helps you create a more effective plan for the future.
2. Identify an owner
The next step to centralizing your localization process is to designate a leader or “champion” to shepherd the process. Like any successful team initiative, your company needs someone to take the reins and drive the strategy for creating a unified localization program. Ideally, this person has the mandate to implement key decisions in order to drive and enforce corporate initiatives across the entire organization.
3. Use a centralized system approach
The best way to get control over your global translation efforts is to store everything in one spot. Multiple localization processes, scattered resources and unnecessary steps could be costing your company more than you know, both in time and money. Centralize your multilingual content throughout your organization within a core set of management structures and technology tools to get the best internal results, like faster translation turnaround and increased cost savings.
Perhaps the most effective tool you can have to organize all resources is a translation management system, which acts in part as a repository of your company’s multilingual resources. By centralizing your translation resources within one platform, all individuals involved in localization can more easily leverage the system. That includes the ability for everyone to use and benefit from a centrally stored and managed translation memory, which can be a great cost saver and promoter of translation quality.
4. Establish a best practice model
Construct a clear content localization best practice model for your organization to reference, outlining the steps to successfully use available tools to complete translation work. These educational resources will help teams across your company understand the centralized process and eliminate any redundant localization questions and concerns, which gives everyone involved more time to focus on other critical work.
To reinforce this best practice model, you may want to adopt a “go to” hub or center of excellence for your localization needs, which all employees can access for information. As part of this scenario, you may choose to allow a translation project manager to become an extension of your own team. That individual can work with you onsite or remotely to help direct an efficient program.
If your organization doesn’t have a localization department to manage this, we can work with you on central program management. A dedicated project management team can enable the design, development and execution of the centralized business process.
5. Get the word out about your success
Creating a highly workable and centralized program is a huge achievement. But if not many employees are aware of it, that severely limits its usefulness.
To get the wider organization to adopt the centralized translation process, you’ll need to do some internal promotion to gain executive and team-level support of your content localization process. Broaden the knowledge of your successes by creating intranet pages with information on the program, highlighting successful internal case studies and cost savings to date while spreading the word through employee referrals.
When best practices are shared across the organization, you’ll have more colleagues willing to adopt and endorse your centralized localization process. You’ll want to evangelize the idea that as more users embrace the centralized translation program, the more efficiencies the company will see.
Take the first step toward a unified program
Mastering a centralized content localization process doesn’t happen overnight. But with the right steps, your organization can be well on its way to achieving a more efficient global translation program.
Could you use even more tips on unifying your business’s localization model? At Amplexor we’ve centralized many companies’ complex and spread-out translation efforts—helping them achieve cost containment and process efficiency. We’ll apply this expertise to your unique enterprise and figure out the best approach for your needs.
Connect with us for more information on all the technologies we offer to optimize your global and digital content experience.
About the author
Andreas Ljungström is a Language Technologies Consultant and Certified CAT trainer at Amplexor International based in Berlin. His main areas of focus are consultancy and professional services aimed at streamlining and automating terminology and CAT processes on both customer and LSP side. He is currently spearheading the roll-out of XTM within the Amplexor group.