A sophisticated Translation Management System is able to generate many different reports. We already discussed the report on the total value of projects started in a previous lesson. We can present this total value for individual years, quarters, or months. Similar reports can also show the total number of projects started per year, quarter or month. And in my translation agency based in Poland, we used such reports regularly.
It was helpful in planning holidays within a group of project managers. We were even able to find certain regular cycles for the months of the year that are busier and periods when our customers order less.
In a conversation with another translation company, I was told that the system is not flexible enough, because it is not possible to generate similar reports on a weekly basis.
Indeed, I never thought about it because in Poland, as a rule, we do not count the weeks of the year.
However, in Western Europe, it is very popular to say, for example, “Let’s meet in the 23rd week”, or “We will start this project in the 44th week”. The calendars in Germany and Spain always contain the consecutive weeks of the year. The methodology of week numbering is even defined in the ISO standard. According to ISO 8601:2004, “the first week of the year is the week with the first Thursday in that year, and the first day of the week is always Monday.”
Therefore I tried to invent a method for our TMS to generate the report on a weekly basis.
The result is presented below (using a set of artificial data) as a graph of the number of projects started on a daily basis during one calendar month.
Of course, during the weekends no projects were started (two days with level 0). Some regularities can be observed: (1) on Thursdays fewer project is started; (2) the last week of the month is the busiest week. Similar graphs derived from the system for longer periods using the identical methodology can confirm these statistical phenomena.
This example shows how a functionality “missing” in the original TMS can be reached using a workaround solution.
Therefore, it is incorrect to say that something is “missing” from the system. Do your best – your invention can help you to increase the performance of your TMS tool.
Jurek Nedoma is also co-founder of the professional TMS software development firm XTRF Management System.