The Shocking Truth: Project Management Is Not File Shuffling

Project Managers should spend their valuable time on their core responsibilities. Negotiating with vendors and customers. Dealing with tricky cases. Solving problems. Their days should not consist of just shuffling e-mails and files. Your time is precious, so do not waste it on repetitive tasks. Automate as much as possible. Here’s how:

  • Automate what you can.

    Automate all tedious tasks. Quote calculations, CAT analysis imports, dispatching work to vendors. All this can, and should, be automated. The Project Manager’s role is to track and handle specific cases.

     

    It is not executing the required steps to complete a project. Vendor load, availability calendars and deliverables tracking can be handled by dedicated tools.

  • Maintain control.

    Established, measurable and repeatable processes do not only make your job easier. They are crucial to delivering consistent, repeatable services. The guaranteed high quality will delight your customers.

     

    Automation does not mean that you lose control over those processes. You can always fine-tune all automations to the smallest detail to fit your business and style of work.

  • Don’t lose the human touch.

    Automated quoting based on CAT analyses. Automatic service-based vendor selection. Final delivery. All the steps of the translation, proofreading and editing processes can be handled automatically.

     

    The scalability of such a solution is limited only by how many customers you can bring in. Pushing automated messages to your vendors can be seen as lacking the previous personal connection to them. That’s why it is important to personalize each of the automated e-mail templates. That way your translators will still feel treated as individuals and not just cogs in a machine.

  • Mindshift: from “push” to “pull”.

    Instead of pushing messages with projects, tasks and files, leverage the power of the web! Use online collaboration tools that will enable your vendors to pull the required files instead of forcing you to push them via e-mail.

     

    It will make all parties much more comfortable. Everyone will be able to work at their own pace instead of being interrupted every minute.

     

    The simple change from a “push” to a “pull” mentality can make a world of difference.

  • Plan long-term targets, execute short term goals.

    To create new automated processes, you must first clearly document the current ones. This will immediately reveal all unwritten rules and common shortcuts. These are elements that you were not even aware of but they are key to your results.

     

    Automation will enforce strict rules and accountability, especially in those areas where you were lax. This can seem like a tedious and time consuming task. Well, it is. But every journey begins with a single step.

     

    Do not try to change too many things at once. Identify the areas where automation will bring the fastest benefits with the least effort. After achieving this goal, analyze how you reached it and try to do it better next time. Rinse and repeat!

Automation is a vast subject. There are many ways of approaching it. Established, measurable and repeatable processes do not only make your job easier. They are crucial to delivering consistent, repeatable services of high quality.

Many fear that automation will threaten their job. But by automating your workflow, you deliver faster and better services to your customers. That makes you more valuable to your company, especially as you manage more and more projects. Improving your tools and processes benefits everyone. It makes the customer happy, frees you from doing tedious work and improves your company’s performance. Every day spent working manually is a day lost. Start automating today.

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