The current edition of Multilingual contains an interesting article. "Real costs of quality software translations" [PDF link] takes a look at how to improve the quality of software localization while, at the same time, reduce total localization costs and time line.
Henk Boxma, who wrote the article, knows a thing or two about software localization. After spending five years in Medtronic's software development and localization organizations, he now helps translation service providers and software developers improve their software localization practices.
So, we pay attention when an expert like Henk advocates that developers and service providers abandon the old time-quality-cost triangle ("you can have any two but never all three"). He makes a compelling argument for the inefficiency of this approach. Henk points out that due to limitations of the per-word localization pricing model, in-house testing by the customer represents a necessary and expensive part of the process, because:
How can someone deliver a good software translation quality when the inputs are not optimal? The only way to deliver quality in that situation is to expend an enormous effort on testing. You will literally need to test the quality into the product.It's nice to see an article that contains specific recommendations for going beyond the time-quality-cost triangle. And it's always nice to see an article that echoes ForeignExchange's views on quality.
ForeignExchange's METRiQ quality system provides medical device and pharmaceutical companies with measurable, known software localization quality. To learn more, contact ForeignExchange Translations.