Localization strategy governance

Bill Swallow / LocalizationLeave a Comment

This post is part of a series on the value proposition of localization strategies.

A successful strategy requires more than having the right tools and processes in place. They need to be measured and governed.

Executing a localization strategy—or any type of strategy—requires process governance. In this context, governance is a documented standard for tracking quality throughout the localization process. It identifies the parties and systems involved, defines responsibilities and accountability, and describes how to measure quality at each step in the process.

Governance does not need be a stern, unforgiving process. However, checks and balances must guide your localization strategy. The goal of governance is to make sure everyone knows what they have to do and how content must conform to produce accurate, complete, and timely translations.

Document everything

mallard duck with ducklings

Governance is an ongoing effort. Some redirection may be necessary. (Pixabay: skeeze)

Without adequate documentation, you cannot measure, improve, or enforce your localization strategy. Some tools may provide metrics on their own, but these metrics are limited to the tool’s involvement in your strategy’s implementation.

What should be documented?

  • Decisions
  • Agreements
  • Responsibilities
  • Workflows
  • Styles and standards
  • Technology involved and how it’s used

This documentation is in addition to documenting the localization strategy itself; its purpose, immediate goals, and future state.

Define and communicate standards

Implementing a localization strategy requires adherence to standards. These standards range from how content is created to how it is translated and delivered. Define standards for any of the following:

  • Style guidelines
  • Templates and information architecture
  • Workflows
  • Terminology
  • Quality standards
  • File formats
  • Conversion processes

Boost performance with transparency

Localization is a team effort. No one person or group is solely responsible for the quality of work. Mistakes and delays not only cascade from content development to translation to implementation, they multiply.

By clearly setting expectations for everyone’s involvement, everyone knows who is responsible for what, and how their work affects others. This clarity and transparency builds accountability into all roles without needing to micromanage every stage of the project.

When mistakes happen (yes, they will happen), this level of transparency makes them easier to detect and correct at an early stage. Your team will also be able to identify any other changes to workflow or standards, and build those changes into the localization lifecycle.

 

How you choose to govern depends on the complexity of your localization lifecycle and on your corporate culture. Regardless of your situation, having these checks and balances in place will ensure that your localization processes run smoothly.

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About the Author

Bill Swallow

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Director of Operations. Techcomm, content strategy, and localization. Enjoys taekwondo, craft beer, and homebrewing.

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