Many translation agencies nowadays face the necessity of translating smaller and smaller amounts of text, submitted regularly by their (often strategic) clients. Those can be, e.g., small changes to some regularly updated technical documentation, new software strings for an application continuously developed in short sprints, blog posts or other marketing content constantly shared with readers using different languages, etc. Such projects not only tend to get smaller in terms of the volume, but are also ordered with shorter deadlines.
From the Project Manager’s point of view, the fact that a project is “just 50 words” does not really mean that it requires less effort from them than a bigger job. On the contrary, small projects with short turnaround times can be real killers, especially when they also require some non-linguistic activities, like file preparation or logging in to a client’s system or FTP server to download the work files or upload deliverables in the right place.
Yet another difficulty is the financial aspect. Clients submitting tens of tiny projects every month are usually not eager to pay minimum fees for each one of them. They prefer to be charged monthly for the total wordcount instead. The vendors, on the other hand, are rarely willing to drop their minimum charges for a single job, even if promised to be exclusive providers for all projects of a given type. Keeping the margins at a decent level can become quite a challenge. Not to mention the costs of in-house resources and project management costs.
There are several tips that can help you manage such projects and make them less painful. Following those tips will help you reduce internal costs by saving the most valuable resource these days – TIME.