“What gets measured gets improved,” said Peter Drucker about half a century ago. Most likely, however, this phrase goes as far back as when Renaissance astronomer Rheticus claimed, “If you can measure it, you can manage it.” Regardless of the phrase’s origin, the message is clear: measuring provides information that helps you achieve what you planned for. Here are a few reasons why quality measurement is crucial in the translation industry:
1. Allows for objective assessment of quality
Accurate quality measurement is essential to the localization process because it allows for objective assessment and improvement of quality. Before you get started, get to know your language service provider (LSP). Together, set expectations and SMART goals. The next step is monitoring and tracking performance against the agreed conditions. Remember that numbers don’t lie. With clear metrics, you and your LSP can objectively assess the overall performance and final quality of each deliverable. The same rule applies to evaluating and comparing quality between preferred vendors.
2. Gives you control over the process
Clear metrics allow you to monitor trends and react to drops or jumps in the process. Consider collaborating with an LSP that has access to intelligent tracking and reporting systems so they can easily identify problem areas and languages, in addition to underperforming translators and reviewers. This gives your LSP control over all steps of the localization process, while offering you peace of mind that your project is being monitored from start to finish by industry experts.
3. Facilitates root cause analysis
Detailed quality monitoring facilitates root cause analysis processes. Tracking error categories or project types allows you to identify problem areas faster and more efficiently. Tip: Ask your LSP if they track and analyze review feedback. This information allows them to gauge translators’ performances with the goal of improving quality at the source.
4. Outlines triggers for improvement
Last but not least, measures and metrics can offer you and your LSP crucial input on improvement actions. This process is accelerated by understanding how to analyze data that has been collected. James Joyce once said, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” If you take the time to understand the errors and how they occur, you will be able to take the right steps to minimize them.