There is a good way to tackling time management with low-tech solutions but quite effectively for our particular environment. The first thing is we should set up a position called “dispatcher”. He/she gets command of all staff’s workload and time used.

No matter you want to use a translator or editor, you would have to go through the dispatcher to book him/her. This can be done by submitting a resource request via email; just a simple work summary which looked like below:

  • Project name: Nikon user manual_8586
  • Field: electronic equipment, camera
  • Preferred person: Nancy
  • Priority: Normal
  • Job type: edit
  • When the source file will be ready: 2011-7-18
  • Volume: 15,000wds in total with 8000wds no match
  • Delivery date: by noon, 2011-7-20

The dispatcher would use the above information to assign a new entry to the editor. For some project with big volume, special instruction, urgent deadline, the dispatcher can call in all people who will involve in the project to have a meeting to discuss the project face to face, surely, PM himself/herself should attend the meeting together.

Perhaps it is not a perfect solution, but it is much better to running around the whole office and check every translators and editors’ availability and other PM ‘s project scheduling. It will make thing in messy and does not going smoothly.

Sometimes, there is unexpected suddenness. For example, the one booked is take medical leave or have a meeting he/she must attend, going to attend. It will definitely affect the final delivery, so we need make back up and prepare “secondary” standby if any suddenness.

In conclusion, there is not a perfectly safe solution to make time and job management as things are all changing every minute. You will never know what will happen in next second. So be realistic about the availability of resources and keep an eye on the actual project progress.