Effective project management is the single most important factor to influence the success of medical translation projects. Yet it seems that great translation project managers are like yellow lobsters: they are very rare.
Some of this has to do with the relative youth of the translation industry. The industry is fragmented, and there is a dearth of best practices and standards to guide translation service providers.
That, in turn, leads project management ranks being staffed by young, inexperienced folks. Many of them mean well and work hard but they just don't know (yet).
Sometimes, "project managers" are really coordinators. They are passive and shuffle paper and files. Few translation project managers possess PMP, CMMi, ITIL, Prince2, or any other project management certification.
All of this presents tremendous opportunities for those project managers and translation companies that can stay focused on being proactive, that think about the end in the beginning, and hone their PMing skills.
In addition to the above-mentioned certifications, the web contains a wealth of information on how-to stuff around project management. Here is a random sampling:
- Lessons from the world's best project managers (bnet)
- 10 simple rules for project managers to live by and keep me happy (Musings from an overworked translator)
- Project Management War stories (blog)
- On queueing, oil change, and customer experience (shmula)
- 7 habits of highly effective project managers (PMinFocus)
- 5 steps to happy customers (Entrepreneur)
ForeignExchange's METRiQ quality system provides medical device and pharmaceutical companies with measurable, known medical translation quality. To learn more, contact ForeignExchange Translations.