“A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service”- this is definition of project management according to “Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge”. To be on top of this year trends that description should be extended by inclusion of the phrase “by the flexible Project Manager”.
Project management is about organization (coordination, synchronization), joint effort (teamwork), planning (preparation, setting‑up and forecast) and communication, and control techniques. As a matter of fact every aspect of above definition should be peppered with this adjective, because every Project Manager prides herself in being elastic and adaptable in the operational environment. You are one of them coping with change on everyday basis characterized by smaller and cheaper jobs which are even more diversified due to specific customer requirements.
Your client may ask for additional proofreading or may require specific editor guidelines. Quite often this will become a template for his or other customer’s future needs. Different client describes his own way quality of translation asking for instants for close following to the source when in other case rewriting the source. When this customer returns, you can reuse the defined process. Your scalability gives you advantage to win a happy customer that you are able to remember and meet his multidimensional and often highly dynamic requests. Reuse and repeat should be your leitmotiv.
To comply with your organization goals and take advantage of your trend knowledge you need to watch your bottom line and still be flexible by improving your operational efficiency. The only way to achieve that is to remember that key importance to translation project management is technology such as a translation management system.
The rest is in your hands. You can write the process down or implement it in a process automation tool. An effort investment that pays for itself and helps in anticipating problems, integrating your customers’ specific expectations and needs, understanding the operational environment, and allowing to be flexible without losing your sanity.