Quality Management - Brief Discussion on Translation Project Management (II)
High quality is a must and guarantee for a successful project. Quality management includes quality plan, quality assurance and quality control, which constitute a quality assurance system. It can help the translation project team to discover product defects as early as possible and take remedial measures timely, which will minimize the negative influence to the cost and schedule.
First of all, let’s talk about quality plan. Quality plan refers to the specific files of quality measures, resources and activity sequences in the light of particular products, projects or contracts. It provides a way to link the particular requirements of a certain product, project or contract with the current procedures of general quality system.
“We cannot do translation relying on remedy; preparation before translating is of great importance to the overall situation.” Must the PM design beforehand and handle timely, can he proceed efficient project management. After the project contract is signed, the PM should firstly know about the project type, project purpose, product delivery time, professional field involved and level of difficulty, budget of cost and profit, characteristics of the source text, specific requirements on quality, and so on, and then make a overall plan.
Secondly, we come to quality assurance. Quality assurance means all the necessary planned and organized activities required for people to ensure the quality of certain product, process and service. It involves all the steps during project implementation, for example, task assignment, process tracing, proofread, DTP, editing and text corpus collecting and construction, during which the project manager is the principal of the whole team and is in charge of organization, coordination and control.
The project manager should analyze the material and classify it into a specific field, and then assign the translation task to different translators (considering their daily output and specialized profession etc.) in accordance with the professionalism of project, level of difficulty and quality required by the client. If the project is of medium or large size, a TM or text corpus may be provided by the client for reference; otherwise, the project manager may provide unified professional glossary to ensure consistency of the project terminology. Usually, the terminology should be submitted to client after being defined. Sometimes, the terminology is not prepared because of a very tight project period, the translators may be required to synchronize the terms every day or use network collaborative translation tools to realize real-time terminology synchronization.
Last but not least, it is the quality control. The issue of quality control in translation project mainly refers to how to control the quality during the translation process and jobs; it is not an independent unit of work, but is embedded in each step of the translation process. As it were, the final objective of project management is to proceed the best quality control. Quality control should be proceeded during the translation process instead of to solve problems after the translation is finished. The project manager may grasp the actual project progress by means of scheduled plan and regular sampling inspection etc. so as to take timely correction measures to the activities that don’t conform to the plan. For example, the project manager may track and monitor the translation quality by means of periodic translation return, timely review the translation finished by the translator, and replace the unqualified translators accordingly. Finally, when the quality and acceptance check is carried out, the whole translation must be proofread, during which both the language and the professional skills are checked. For example, language fluency, expression clearness and consistency of language style as a whole is checked from the perspective of language review; the accuracy of format, modality, marks and wording of the translation, omission, mistranslation and terminology unification are checked from the perspective of proofreading; the professionalism of technical term expression is reviewed from perspective of technical skills; and the standardization of illustration and format conversion is verified from the perspective of DTP. The project manager should communicate with the translator, and solve problems timely, so as to ensure the overall progress and quality standard.