Last week a prospective customer asked "How does SimulTrans select Project Managers?"
This is an excellent question and one that many companies may ponder when evaluating SimulTrans, or any localization company. I can imagine this prospect felt that the Project Manager would be the core of the relationship with SimulTrans, which is an accurate assumption. While SimulTrans encourages and enables client communication with all project team members, it is by far a Project Manager who serves as the main customer contact.
SimulTrans has many project managers so it is important that the Operations Directors carefully match a project manager with each client and project.
SimulTrans assigns project managers and team members to each project based on the following criteria:
- Experience with similar projects, based on product functionality, terminology, file formats, and testing requirements
- Location, providing convenient communication with the customer
- Availability, ensuring workloads are balanced and the assigned project team members have adequate time to devote to each project
- Passion for the customer and products to be localized, recognizing people who are interested in projects will devote the time and enthusiasm required to manage them successfully
- Language capabilities, particularly for projects targeting one or a limited number of languages. For example, if a customer were only targeting Japanese, SimulTrans may assign a project manager who speaks Japanese
Once a project manager is assigned to work with a customer, we strive to have this individual manage subsequent projects. Since SimulTrans often works with clients for many years, we recognize the importance in consistency in project management, since project managers begin to understand products and communication preferences over time.
In terms of general recruiting practices, SimulTrans hires project managers who have previous localization experience, project management expertise, strong technical skills, and excellent communication abilities. Most of SimulTrans' project managers have worked in localization for many years, often in roles of increasing responsibility at SimulTrans.