Are you ready to localize? This was easily the primary theme of this year’s Life Sciences Round Table at Localization World in Seattle. The TerumoBCT and Content Rules presentations were strongly focused on the need to create a reliable pre-localization process.
Recommended “best practices” include: development of terminology lists and clear, structured content; development of rigorous stylistic standards and a clear understanding of the source language.
Equally important are inter-department communications with economic decision-makers, the technical writing and content development staff, the localization team as well as other key, internal stakeholders
Setting clear expectations and enforcing project timelines in preparation for localization was identified as a major challenge to affecting good pre-localization methodology and getting the final content through the localization process.
Pay attention to pre-localization
The executive sponsors always question the ROI and cost/benefit rationale; technical writers often balk at imposed content development standards; the localization team(s) are constantly challenged with securing final, “l10n-ready” content; keeping localization vendor partners apprised of pending projects and timelines; meeting time-to-market deadlines; managing budgets.
The general consensus of the Round Table attendees was clearly supportive of the need to embed a solid “pre-localization” process. The overall value proposition is instantly obvious to an LSP, but not necessarily so inside the customer’s organization.
The path to success is predicated on continuous “socialization” of the value inherent in proper preparation for localization. Success is also dependent on the internal localization team securing executive sponsors to assist with the economic rationalization for “pre-l10n” preparation and l10n.
Getting it right
As an LSP, it is relatively easy for us to envision a best practices program. What we are not always cognizant of is the internal struggle – political and economic – that can impede or dilute, the most vigorous attempts to “get it right“.
The TerumoBCT presenters, Marita Hoeh and Karen Nicoulin, shared their “story” and provided excellent guidance on the essential mechanics required to achieve success. Their experience, and expertise, were a terrific “value add” to this Life Sciences Round Table discussion.