PM is responsible for assigning projects to translators and editors, as well as “bargaining” with them. I think it is an interesting thing. When sales person hands in projects to PMs, then we deliver projects to those who do translation related jobs. It seems to be simple. However, it may become difficult.
For example, when I want to assign a project translating from English to Japanese, I want to know which person is an expertise in this field. Then I inquire the information in BO, and check whether this person’s history projects are OK. If so, I will make sure how much I will pay for him/her for this project. Usually, our budget is tight, and I get paid from project commissions. So I will offer the lowest for this project. If we agreed with each other, the deal was made.
At one time, I was assigned a project from English to Japanese. It was the first time that I was responsible for a foreign project. As we were asked to assign projects to internal translators, so I asked one of my colleague to do this translation. She worked it hard. Finally she handed it to me. When I delivered the translated file to the editor who was a native Japanese, he said the translation was in poor quality and he didn’t want to edit it.
As the delivery time was so limited I explained to the editor the situation of this project. Consequently, he agreed. I was so astonished that above 80% of the translation had been revised. I asked an old PM how to do with similar things.
She told me it was better to find a native person to do the job like this, or the result maybe not good. For this project, I had better to offer the editor translation fee. So I did as she said. The result was very good.
Our translation was delivered on time without complaining. On the other hand, the editor seemed to be happy to work with me. Of course, the rate was as usual and not as high as the first time. From then on, I would arrange a native translator in case of additional costs. They are able to provide good quality. I think this is a precious experience.
At first, I didn’t know I should control project costs. What I knew was to assign tasks to the right person and deliver the project with good quality. After a period of working here, I noticed quality is not the only thing had to be taken into consideration. Costs are also vital. We cannot do the job without profit. And I must keep the profit at maximization.