Program complexity is the natural byproduct of successful globalization. Increasing volumes reveal the pressure points of unscalable processes, while stakeholder requirements become more exacting for each content type as experience uncovers what doesn’t work.
Fear not: your localization service provider (LSP) staffs advanced specialists to help you manage increasing complexity and keep your growth on track.
So far, our “LSP Who’s Who” series has covered core LSP roles and expanded team roles you’ll likely encounter as your localization program takes off. To conclude the series, let’s cover a few more specialists you’ll encounter when your program reaches a level of maturity or complexity to warrant their participation.
Translation Management System (TMS) Specialist
Choosing and deploying a TMS is no trivial matter, and many enterprises need expert TMS support. A TMS specialist is a tools expert capable of implementing and customizing the system, troubleshooting problems, providing training, and helping users resolve any issues working with the tool.
Your TMS specialist is a hands-on technologist with 7+ years’ experience in the technical side of the localization industry as a localization engineer or production specialist. A TMS specialist needs a specific personality: someone who’s passionate about technology, relates to customers and end-users, and knows how to implement both the big-picture business objectives and the hands-on, in-the-weeds tech fixes for the chosen tool.
Depending on your needs, this role may focus entirely on your program, or split their time across several client programs. Either way, TMS support is above and beyond the scope of localization program management, so organizations typically pay a separate hourly or monthly program fee for this person’s time.
Dedicated Linguistic Reviewers
Most enterprises tap their in-country partners or stakeholders to perform linguistic reviews — until that stops working for any number of reasons. Maybe they’re not qualified to review any or all of your content types. Maybe they’re too busy with their day jobs. Maybe your efforts to train them how to use a scorecard are not panning out.
Eventually, many global organizations decide these resources are better off focusing on their core business, and they instead engage a dedicated team of linguistic reviewers. These resources are third-party linguists — distinct from the resources performing the translation — who replace in-country partners for the review effort.
Each dedicated linguistic reviewer will act as the quality lead for their given language: reviewing translated materials to the defined quality standards, providing feedback to translators, and reporting on quality trends to client stakeholders. This role manages terminology and style guide updates — key assets in driving language quality — and may even help define the quality standards.
With a degree in linguistics or translation, a dedicated reviewer has 3+ years experience as a translator or editor and an eagle-eyed sense of detail, stemming from a deep love of language. But the reviewer must also be able to collaborate well with translators, commit to the client’s specific quality requirements, and grasp the big picture of quality management.
As with the TMS specialist, linguistic reviewers are beyond the core localization program and require separate fees — but they may be dedicated or shared with other client programs, as appropriate to your program volumes.
Maturing localization programs often require a bit of creativity to achieve your business objectives within a set of constraints, such as budget, quality, turnaround time, resource teams, technology, and so forth. You may need new services, such as social media strategy, search engine optimization, or content creation. Or maybe you need process consulting along with custom automations and tool deployments.
A solution architect (SA) is a versatile globalization specialist with deep knowledge across all activities required for an enterprise to take their product global. This role is a content strategist, a linguistic consultant, a technology expert, and a process wizard, all combined.
Your SA understands the localization landscape and all the services that may be required for a global company to expand its global reach. Your SA will also have the cross-client, cross-program insight to know how to approach a challenge based on the client’s objectives and business situation, cultivating custom solutions from deep listening and a thoughtful diagnosis.
The SA is a localization veteran, with 10+ years of experience in project management, technology, linguistics, program management, and/or engineering: essentially, any localization role that offers the chance to learn the ins and outs of the business. This role has a passion for resolving client problems and understands the big picture of enterprise globalization goals.
That’s it for this blog series, but keep in mind that complex programs may need additional, highly specialized support depending on your service mix, such as content creation, search engine optimization, multimedia, transcreation, community moderation, and program-wide quality management.
What other specialist roles would you like to see us cover in-depth?