Life as a Project Manager

August 30, 2016Monika Marcowska

What does a normal day in your shoes look like? 

My day starts with checking my e-mail and putting down fires. Once that’s done, usually after 1-1,5 h, I go and make myself some coffee – being forever grateful for the coffee machine in our kitchen. :)
During that break, I usually ‘talk shop’ with my colleagues and exchange news. And I return to my desk with a ready battle plan (more or less). I juggle my tasks moving between quotes, e-mails and schedules. This diversity puts my knack for doing a million things at once to use.

What makes Project Management so great?

Easy! It’s the most exciting and dynamic part of the localization process. You never know what you’ll find in the next e-mail you receive. And you can only plan your day to a limited extent. Some people will probably find it a bit intimidating but that’s what I like the most in my job. 

What are the daily challenges you experience?

The stress can sometimes be overwhelming. We need to learn to live with it and use it to our advantage – to motivate us, make us more efficient.

What are the Facts and Myths about Project Management?

PMs are said (or expected) to be perfect at organizing things. That’s a fact with a ‘but’ attached to it. We also need to be able to revel in chaos – not to be overwhelmed by it.
The work of a PM is frequently described as reading and writing e-mails – pushing them back and forth. That’s actually not the case. Project Management is basically everything that happens in between handling e-mails.

What are some tips and tricks you can give to clients when working with Project Manager?

Ask us questions – we are here to explain things. This will make the cooperation in the future easier – everyone will be on the same page.
Provide as much information as possible in the hand-off email: 
  • target languages  –  provide a list of languages requested together with the so called ‘language flavour’ for languages that have country varieties (e.g. French for Canada, Brazilian Portuguese, German for Switzerland, etc.).
  • delivery file format you expect  –  the source files may have been created in the Letter format to meet the US requirement while the EMEA and APAC target languages may need A4 format.
  • print specifications from the printing company or web designers – if you need interactive PDFs to upload on the webpage (with links active), if the high resolution files should have print marks, bleeds, etc.
  • let us know if any of the languages or documents in scope are a priority.
All this will make the quoting process quicker and will enable us to provide a more accurate turnaround time.
We will also ask question – please bear with us :). Your answers will help us to provide the quality you’d expect from us.

If you want to find our more about project management at Argos Multilingual, watch our recent Coffee Break episode with Kasia Płonka, Talking Life Sciences Project Management!