Food for thought in Project Management
- Do more with less (Improve Efficiency)
- Faster, better and cheaper (Create Higher Productivity and Correct use of Resource)
- The only constant is change (Constant Improvement both in Technology and Process)
- Push Accountability Down (Each resource is responsible for their own delivery)
In managing each project, it is important to keep the above 4 points in mind.
Project Management requires each Project Manager to start managing a project from the point an order comes through from a client up until the final stage where the final outcome has been delivered to the client. A project is not considered completed until a delivery meets the requirements and specification made at the point the project is ordered. In short, it is from conceptualizing to completion. It requires the application of appropriate skills, techniques, and tools so that the project is completed to specifications, on time, and within budget.
The definition of a successful Project reads:
Satisfying the customer through Meeting project specification, Delivering on time and Operating within the budget constraints
Below are the important steps to the success of Managing a Project:
1. Project Evaluation / Quotation
2. Planning & Preparation
3. Understand Project Requirements
4. Understand scope of project
5. Special client requirements
6. Have a Project Plan
7. Determine Project Schedule
8. Determine Project Team
9. Determine Project Process
10. Contingency Plan
12. Managing the resources
13. Change Management
14. Project requirements (scope, timeframe, etc.)
15. Good communication
16. Project Completion
17. Files checking
What is a Project?
A Project is a piece of work that needs to be done to produce a unique, predefined outcome within a predetermined timeframe and budget.
In the context of Localization, the following can be used as guidelines to the definition of each of the term.
“Work” refers to the task that needs to be completed. The following are examples of the work requested:
- Translation (Software and Documentation)
- Editing / Quality Assurance
- Desktop Publishing (Document Formatting)
- Engineering (Software and Help Compilation)
“Outcome” refers to the goal and final deliverable of each project. No outcome is exactly the same as each delivery is unique. A project can be very similar from one release to another but it is never the same. If the delivery is exactly the same, no client will be requesting the task and paying the service for nothing. Take for example a Medical Report. A standard Medical Report comprises of the standard items that needs to be examine. However, the result of each item differs from one individual to the other.
Closer to the context of Localization, please refer to the following example, a project may consist of a change in version number of a product from Product XXX 1.0 to 2.0. This on it’s own is still a unique outcome as wherever the term “Product XXX 1.0” needs to be changed to “Product XXX 2.0”. Even if it is only in one location of the document, the term needs to be changed and reproduce in a format that the client can use.
The outcome of a project is the crust of the whole process. It is important that one understands fully the requirements and instructions before proceeding with each task. Without understanding the requirements of each task already sets the project for failure. It is just like not knowing the direction that you are heading for (North, South, East or West) and you start walking. If you are lucky you may go in the direction you want to. However, 75% you will to do a rework and in one of the worse case scenario you will have re-do the work 100% or more.
Each project has a known deadline by which the project needs to be completed. In localization this is often times very critical as it determines the time by which a document or a product can be released. It is important to understand the time requirements of clients before committing to a project.
Profitability is a natural part of each project. Thus each project must be performed in a manner whereby the task is completed within the cost charged to the client.
What is Project Management?
Project Management refers to managing a project from the project initiation through delivery to the end user, ensuring that the outcome specification is fulfilled within the time and budget constraints.