Agile Localization

Quick, agile multilingual delivery of products and services is gradually becoming the norm across numerous industries. The focus in this case shifts from traditional expectations, i.e. translating large volumes within reasonable timeframes to translating small and tiny pieces with an extremely aggressive turnaround, typically between 2-3 and 12-24 hours, often during weekends or holidays. The demand is driven by shortened production cycles as well as real-life situations like last-minute updates to source content or terminology immediately before the final release, urgent announcements or recall notices, and other time-sensitive tasks.

The Challenge

The challenge that translation or localization teams are facing is multi-faceted:

  1. Process and SLAs. Provision of agile translation services should be based not on acts of heroism (like waking in the middle of the night and working around the clock, adding finishing touches to a big, long project) but rather on a robust process that includes well-defined service-level agreements (SLAs) between all parties that need to define expectations and cover special circumstances like national holidays and weekends (they differ from nation to nation), time zone difference, applicable surcharges, etc.
  2. Flexible supply chain. As far as text needs to be translated into or edited in multiple languages, not only project managers or engineers on the supplier end, but also the whole production chain (including native-speaking translators or editors residing in their respective countries or regions) needs to be well familiar with the process and service level expectations. In other words, we need a sufficient number of translators for all requested languages who are available (including afterhours, weekends and national holidays), read urgent notifications, and are ready to spend 10-30 minutes of their time on an expedited project almost immediately upon receiving the notification. Resource availability and redundancy plays a huge role here, especially during weekends or holidays.
  3. Instant quality checks. While the number and depth of quality checks under the agile scenario is naturally limited, we still need to make sure that there are no obvious or showstopper-level errors in these several lines of text hastily translated within hours. Hence the need for quick automated quality check tools that can be run both by translators and PMs.
  4. Cloud-based collaboration platform that covers translation, editing and delivery. Given severe timing restrictions, there is no time for lengthy email exchanges with PMs figuring out translators’ availability, sending strings to be translated/edited, querying job status, receiving the text back, checking quality, creating a unified set of deliverables and sending it to the client. Manual approach puts a lot of stress on the PMs and dramatically reduces both their efficiency and overall reliability of the solution. What we need here is initiating most tasks through automated notifications, using an online portal or app for task acknowledgment, translation and editing, online status checks, quality checks and delivery to the client in a self-service mode.

The Logrus IT Agile Localization Solution Details

Logrus IT offers several types of agile localization solutions that cover the whole spectrum of potential expectations. In all cases we are talking about providing small or tiny, standalone and relatively urgent (24-hour or less turnaround) translations to clients.

Client SLAs

 

  1. Agile localization with NO preliminary notifications.

This approach is used for clients or projects where quick turnarounds are expected, but happen spontaneously, and advance warnings are not available.

Service level suggested:

  1. Logrus IT commits to a 12-24 hour turnaround during both weekdays and weekends for translations into all major 36 and some other languages using an online portal, app or tool provided by us. If materials need to be returned in a particular format requested by the client (like Passolo, Trados or other custom format), export/conversion operations can take additional time because they can only be carried out by the PM when all translations into all languages become available.
  2. Logrus IT provides the following emergency contacts for its PM and Engineering team: emergency email alias and, in some cases, also a Skype or other messenger account and/or a mobile number for sending urgent localization requests.
  3. Emergency aliases/numbers are monitored continuously between 08:00 and 20:00 (GMT+3) during weekdays and at least twice a day during weekends.
  4. The list of languages needs to be discussed in advance.
  5. Exact turnaround times for most languages depend on the time when the job is placed and the time zone where native speakers are located. There are some natural limitations involved. (For instance, when the job is received late in the evening or during nighttime in some countries involved.)
  6. Turnaround time is guaranteed* for volumes under 125 words.
    *While Logrus IT will make every effort to provide deliverables in a timely manner, in some cases, including Force Major, the situation might go beyond our control for some languages/regions. We’ll do everything to notify clients as early as possible in all such cases, which are extremely rare.
  7. Deliveries during national holidays (at Logrus IT production sites or in regions where some requested languages are spoken) are not guaranteed.
  8. No charge in case no jobs are sent by the client.
  9. Surcharges: None for weekday deliveries within the monitored timeframe. A 50-100% surcharge is added for jobs started and/or delivered during weekends.
  1. Agile localization with preliminary notifications.

This case is similar to the previous one, but each urgent job is preceded by at least a two-day advance warning.

Service level suggested (differences with the previous case are highlighted):

  1. Logrus IT commits to a 4-24 hour turnaround during both weekdays and weekends for translations into all major 36 and some other languages using an online portal, app or tool provided by us. If materials need to be returned in a particular format requested by the client (like Passolo, Trados or other custom format), export/conversion operations can take additional time because they can only be carried out by the PM when all translations into all languages become available.
  2. Logrus IT provides the following emergency contacts for its PM and Engineering team: emergency email alias and a Skype or other messenger account and/or a mobile number for sending urgent localization requests.
  3. Emergency aliases/numbers are monitored continuously between 08:00 and 20:00 (GMT+3) during weekdays and at least four times a day during weekends. Monitoring during extended hours is also possible on request.
  4. The list of languages needs to be discussed in advance.
  5. Exact turnaround times for most languages depend on the time when the job is placed and the time zone where native speakers are located. There are some natural limitations involved. (For instance, when the job is received late in the evening or during nighttime in some countries involved.)
  6. Turnaround time is guaranteed* for volumes under 250 
    *While Logrus IT will make every effort to provide deliverables in a timely manner, in some cases, including Force Major, the situation might go beyond our control for some languages/regions. We’ll do everything to notify clients as early as possible in all such cases, which are extremely rare.
  7. Deliveries during national holidays can take more time.
  8. No charge or minimal charge in case no jobs are sent by the client.
  9. Surcharges: None for weekday deliveries within the monitored timeframe. A 50-100% surcharge is added for jobs placed and/or delivered during weekends. Higher surcharges may apply to holiday work.
  1. Agile localization with preliminary notifications and resource reservation (retainer).

In this case the client not only provides a two-day advance warning, but also commits to pay for pre-agreed team standby availability afterhours, during weekends or holidays irrespective of whether any jobs are sent.

Service level suggested (differences with the previous case are highlighted):

  1. Logrus IT commits to provide resources available in standby mode within the pre-agreed timeframe and hourly limits.
  2. Logrus IT commits to a 4-24 hour turnaround during both weekdays and weekends for translations into all major 36 and some other languages using an online portal, app or tool provided by us. If materials need to be returned in a particular format requested by the client (like Passolo, Trados or other custom format), export/conversion operations can take additional time because they can only be carried out by the PM when all translations into all languages become available.
  3. Logrus IT provides the following emergency contacts for its PM and Engineering team: emergency email alias, a Skype or other messenger account and a mobile number for sending urgent localization requests.
  4. Emergency aliases/numbers are monitored continuously between 08:00 and 20:00 (GMT+3) during weekdays and in accordance with the pre-agreed schedule outside of the “standard” weekday timeframe.
  5. The list of languages needs to be discussed in advance.
  6. Exact turnaround times for most languages depend on the time when the job is placed and the time zone where native speakers are located. There are some natural limitations involved. (For instance, when the job is received late in the evening or during nighttime in some countries involved.)
  7. Turnaround time is guaranteed* for volumes under 750
    *While Logrus IT will make every effort to provide deliverables in a timely manner, in some cases, including Force Major, the situation might go beyond our control for some languages/regions. We’ll do everything to notify clients as early as possible in all such cases, which are extremely rare.
  8. Deliveries during national holidays can take more time.
  9. Client is charged for resource time booked in advance in all cases. Additional charges apply if actual time spent exceeds pre-agreed time or additional work is required.
  10. Surcharges: None for weekday deliveries within the monitored timeframe. A 50-100% surcharge is added for jobs placed and/or delivered during weekends. Higher surcharges may apply to holiday work.

Supply chain

Logrus IT has already established a robust agile multilingual production chain covering more than two dozen languages. This chain includes people and teams all around the globe who have already committed to participate in our agile model. We are actively working on involving more translators and teams to extend the list of languages and further improve performance on agile projects.

Each person or team participating in the program signs a special SLA which is an Appendix to our Master Services Agreement. This SLA includes guaranteed limited availability afterhours, during weekends and holidays and well as a commitment to react to urgent requests within a pre-agreed timeframe and provide services, if required. The SLA also contains emergency contacts (email alias, Skype or other messenger, phone, mobile) and special payment agreements for each supplier.

Logrus IT has not made this appendix mandatory, but we obviously favor more flexible suppliers and individuals, even in cases that do not involve urgent turnarounds.

Process and online collaboration

Logrus IT provides an online, cloud-based platform for translating and editing materials in a simple format that does not require special training and makes it possible for all involved PMs and linguists to complete their tasks with minimal overhead.

Logrus IT PMs are monitoring the status of each project and automatically reassign tasks that were not acknowledged or completed on time based purely on their status.

The client can check on the status at any time or download completed materials immediately when they are ready.

Quality checks

We will perform a full set of quality checks for all agile projects during our normal hours of operation between 08:00 and 20:00 (GMT+3). During afterhours, weekends and holidays the number of checks performed can be limited by those built or integrated into the tools, and strongly depends on the expected turnaround time and urgency. Logrus IT is actively working on extending the number, depth and coverage of instant and self-checks on the translator/editor end within an agile environment.