Project managers (PMs) are language service providers’ (LSPs) frontline workers. That means aspiring PMs don’t need to go behind the scenes to see what the most successful PMs have in common.
In practice, project management is synonymous with juggling all the smaller tasks that make up each successful project. Each individual PMs handles this in their own way, whether via a detailed calendar, scheduled reminders, or comprehensive to-do lists (or all three!), but the goal is always the same: keep track of the details so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Interactions with PMs play a large role in clients’ impressions of an LSP. Beyond simply agreeing that “the customer is always right,” PMs are often tasked with educating clients about their options for specific projects, and about the language industry at large. The best PMs share their knowledge in a friendly but accessible way.
Though project management is often a solitary endeavor, PMs should be open to collaborating with colleagues within the LSP, pointing others to helpful resources, recommending stand-out translators, sharing time-saving shortcuts, and offering feedback when appropriate.
Familiarity with the most popular CAT tools and software on the market is a plus for PMs, but not a must-have. What’s non-negotiable is an interest in many different subjects, since all but the most niche LSPs handle a range of clients and content, and a willingness to learn — from everyone!