What makes a good Translation Project Manager?

Steph Hodgson, Translation Project Manager (PM) for our Technical & Life Science clients, gives us the recipe for success for a PM role in the translation industry…

Project Manager, noun, the person in charge of the planning and execution of a particular project

Rather than looking after a “particular project”, PMs in the translation industry are constantly multitasking; developing processes and managing multiple projects in multiple languages. To do this you have to be organised; there are so many elements to deal with at any one time, that you need to follow processes and have a structure that works to get the job done on time, to cost and to scope.

There are always problems to be solved in order to overcome the barriers and challenges that are undoubtedly going to arise, no matter the length of the project, and thinking outside of the box is a must. This means that translation PMs must be flexible; we manage changes and adjustments numerous times a day, and on a daily basis.

For any type of project, the number one reason for failure is a lack of communication. Translation PMs must communicate at all times on all projects to all stakeholders whether it’s internal, external, to linguists, clients or management.

Whilst not essential, it’s useful to have a good understanding of languages in this industry; it’s definitely helpful when you’re on a difficult project, but specifically when working in languages you understand. At Capita TI, we also specialise in ‘verticals’ (particular industries) so that we can get to know particular processes for specific content, which is definitely a benefit to our customers.

With all of this activity going on, the best PMs manage to stay positive too; there’s no time to crumble under the pressure!


Steph is a Project Manager mostly in the Legal and Financial vertical at Capita TI, having been a Spanish and German teacher at Secondary and Sixth Form level for 5 years. She is also the Service Delivery and File Engineering representative for the Employee Engagement Group. When not at work, she’s usually doing sport.

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