Every localisation project is made up of multiple moving parts. From translators and developers to marketers and copywriters, there are numerous layers involved in bringing each strategy from conception to completion.
At the heart of this large operation sits the localisation project manager (PM).
With international eCommerce booming and more and more businesses making the move to go global, localisation expertise has never been more valuable. This has resulted in demand soaring for localisation project managers.
But why is this role so important within this ever-growing industry? And what are the characteristics and skills that make a great project manager?
What a localisation project manager does
Supporting the project from the outset, a localisation project manager will play a key role in the coordination of each project element, overseeing the process from initiation to activation.
As a competent and effective communicator, a PM will be responsible for both connecting and managing all personnel involved with the job at hand. From team members to vendors to external stakeholders, the role of each individual will be both defined and monitored by the PM.
They will connect with the overall team at frequent intervals throughout the project, ensuring smooth lines of communication are being maintained, timelines are being adhered to, and the work produced is of high quality.
Aside from people management, PMs are also programmed to think and operate with a strategic business brain. They will be expected to define KPIs and deliver on these as the project comes to fruition. They will also be in charge of ensuring project budgets are managed accordingly, with budgetary limitations adhered to at all times.
And their financial focus extends beyond this to monitoring ROI, which should be closely assessed on a regular basis as the project unfolds.
A localisation project manager is also at the top of their tech game, aware of the latest technological tools and systems that will benefit each localisation project in terms of improving workflow efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
At its very core, the localisation industry revolves around a company or product’s ability to successfully represent a variety of cultural nuances, while uniquely appealing to multiple audiences.
Therefore, a vital responsibility of a localisation PM is to ensure this is carefully executed through the creation of specific product guidelines that will help to avoid any potential cultural taboos.
Why a localisation project manager is so important
It is important not to underestimate how crucial an effective PM will be to every localisation project. They are at the centre of each strategy, holding all the pieces together and ensuring a smooth operational flow from start to finish. In essence, they are key business partners that make a localisation strategy come to life.
Arguably, however, their most vital role is the level of support they offer to the team at large.
Acting as a liaison officer between the client or the company’s senior management and the working team, they are fully versed in the underlying objectives of the project and delegate each task in order to meet and exceed these goals.
They know everyone’s role – what each individual should be producing, and when. They delegate and oversee workloads, providing guidance when project specs change and facilitating introductions between collaborators as and when required.
With so many elements to consider concerning each localisation project – the sheer volume of personnel involved, the specialised expertise required, and the wide range of tasks to be completed – the role of the project manager should never be underestimated.
The skills and attributes that make a great PM
The role of a project manager is both broad in scope and specific in nature. The individual that takes up the mantle must bring a specific set of skills to the table.
- They must be incredibly detail-oriented, with so many major and minor tasks to execute on a daily basis.
- They should have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, to ensure smooth lines of communication between all personnel involved with the project.
- They must be adept at solving problems, with the ability to overcome and adjust as problems arise or specifications change.
- They must be comfortable with and effective at multitasking, with a multi-layered team to manage.
- They should be tech-savvy, with a good understanding of industry-standard localisation tools, advising on which software is best suited to the organisation in question or the project at hand.
- They should be excellent with time management, hitting deadlines on target at every turn.
- They must also be confident and reliable with financial management, ensuring project budgets are strictly adhered to.
- Displaying a cultural awareness and the ability to speak multiple languages are also big pros on the resumé of a potential localisation project manager, as these criteria are vital to success within the industry.
Forging a successful career as a localisation project manager
A passion for bringing a brand or product to a global audience, paired with the increasing demand for talent within the localisation industry, is a winning combination for those considering a long-term career as a localisation project manager.
The key to success lies in partnering with the experts who specialise in matching the finest talent with localisation companies around the world. This is where International Achievers Group comes in.
For over 20 years, International Achievers Group has been building lasting relationships with many of the world’s leading localisation companies to provide exclusive opportunities for exceptional talent.
Our success is built on our long-term relationships with both our candidates and clients and it’s these relationships that allow us to create the best marriage of skills for our global positions.
Take the first step towards your new role – get in touch with International Achievers Group today.