Which Project Management type works best for translation?

For many in the Project Management (PM) role or looking to enter that role, PRINCE2 is the most talked about methodology used and therefore seems like the logical choice for all PMs to learn.

However, when I began project management in the translation industry a year ago, it soon became clear to me that PRINCE2 wasn’t the best option when running translation projects.

What is PRINCE2?

What is Translation Project Management?

In March, I wrote a blog post about what makes a good Translation Project Manager, in which I explored the qualities needed to get on in this industry. Just glancing over this, it’s clear to see that PRINCE2 is too rigid for not only the PMs; our productivity would surely drop if we had to complete so much documentation and follow such strict processes on projects with varying scope, but also for the benefit of our clients. With this in mind, let’s take a look at Agile Project Management:

What is Agile?

Translation projects are all about communication; it is key to successful completion and it is only right that the clients are involved throughout.

Language is forever evolving, and will therefore create changes along the way.

This can  make deliverables harder to define, but that’s why translation PMs have to be lateral thinkers. They must be flexible and get the best solution in what is often a short project.

Next time you’re looking for opportunities to develop your career in Project Management, remember that there are different methodologies available for a reason; they each have a different end purpose. I’ve no doubt that PRINCE2 continues to work very well in IT projects, but from my point of view, Agile is much better suited to translation project needs.


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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