How To Reduce Translation Project Risk

The National Academy of Sciences identifies several types of general project risk including:

a)  Performance, scope, quality, or technological risks

b)  Environment, safety, and health risks

c)  Schedule risk

d)  Cost risk

e)  Loss of support risk

Consumers of professional translation services (especially first-time customers) more often have project risk concerns mainly in the first category (a) above.

Below are three strategies/actions that buyers of professional translation services can take to minimize translation project risk.

1)  Conduct a test or pilot project

A small translation project, or portion of a larger project, can be performed to ensure a satisfactory outcome prior to engaging a larger scale effort.

2)  Provide written instructions for translators

Translation customers can provide instructions and/or resources such as a bilingual glossary of terms for preferred translations. Translators can follow clients’ instructions in the course of performing projects.

3)  Set criteria for project success in advance

It’s helpful for translation service customers to have criteria for recognizing a successful translation project once it’s delivered. Setting realistic project success standards in advance can help with this.