How to Achieve Excellence in Project Management in the Language Industry
Carolina A. Herrera|December 5, 2022
How do you build a successful project management team that can be scaled up quickly? That’s what I asked myself in 2018 when I started recruiting interpreters for Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI). Never in a million years could I have imagined the explosive growth we had ahead of us as demand for RSI increased due to the pandemic.
Methodically, in less than two years, our team at Interprenet managed to quadruple our global network of interpreters. At the same time, the need for well-equipped project managers became a priority. Then, when the pandemic broke out and RSI became the solution of choice almost overnight, we were able to navigate that tsunami well for two reasons: We had built an extensive network of qualified linguists and set a solid foundation to ensure our project managers had the knowledge, tools, and processes to succeed.
At Interprenet, our mission and values are represented by two acronyms: TOP and ACT. And we’ve modeled our approach to project management in accordance with both.
Project Management as a TOP ACT
T.O.P. represents the vision of what a successful project manager should strive for. Let me explain.
The T in Top stands for Total Commitment. A good project manager understands that the success of a project starts and ends with the project manager. They must be fully committed to excellence. A full and careful understanding of the project scope, thoughtful vendor selection, and effective communication with all stakeholders will ensure operational excellence, the O in TOP.
Operational Excellence: A good project manager wears many hats. Ringleader, casting agent, teacher, psychologist, and sometimes magician. Regardless of size and scope, the successful project manager knows the resources at their disposal, understands what needs to be done to advance the project, and makes the best decisions based on that knowledge, which is fundamental to resolving problems, and that’s the P in TOP.
Problem Resolution: A good project manager understands the strengths and weaknesses of the project. Foreseeing what can go wrong long before an event or meeting starts, is what turns a well-managed project into an amazing project. However, even the best project managers can’t control everything, and sometimes something unexpected happens: a last-minute change of scope, a sick interpreter, or a technical difficulty. When everybody else is freaking out, a successful project manager will remain calm and focused knowing that they have a wealth of resources and knowledge to solve the problem quickly and favorably.
The values of our project managers are reflected in Interprenet’s second acronym: A.C.T.
Accuracy: Precision is our signature. In the language services industry, accuracy of work is what matters most, and accuracy drives most of the operation. We are committed to providing our clients with the best linguistic solutions and the project manager is the person responsible for delivering on that promise.
Creativity: We run on sheer ingenuity. Our project managers can count on a support team that allows them to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions when faced with a challenge. Proven expertise in the language industry and long-standing strategic partnerships are essential to exercising this creativity.
Trust: Genuine care sets us apart. Trust is the most precious attribute we have. Not only the trust that our clients put in us — which keeps them coming back — but most importantly, the trust that we have in each other as a team. Project managers don’t function alone; they are part of the chain of trust that we pride ourselves on. Every single person at Interprenet is part of that chain.
As a company founded by linguists, Interprenet prides itself on ensuring that our relationships with employees, vendors, and clients are driven by these values to create long-lasting, meaningful collaborations. In doing so, we strive to be a TOP ACT when it comes to managing our clients' projects!
Author: Carolina Herrera, Director Global Services | Interprenet
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