As translation and localization professionals, you know how important effective communication is. After all, it’s your bread and butter. And you probably do practice effective project management communication.
But is there room for improvement?
Are you communicating as effectively and as efficiently as you might?
And is your project management system set up to support this?
Sometimes we’re so used to our ways of working that it can be hard to think outside the box. Especially when things seem to work smoothly enough. But here at XTRF, we don’t settle for ‘good enough’ – we’re always striving to improve and enhance, and we encourage our clients to do the same.
Problems with current communication methods
Email works perfectly well, right? Well, yes and no. There are some key drawbacks to this medium:
- So much noise – the average person receives so many emails, it can be easy to miss yours, or it can end up in the spam folder
- Business continuity challenges – if someone’s away and they’ve been receiving project updates and information to their personal inbox, it can be hard to pick up where they left off
- Context-less – emails don’t come with the context of the project, meaning you have to manually provide that information when discussing project details which can be time-consuming (i.e. ‘the subtitle in 05:05:11 isn’t in line with page 10 of the client’s Style Guide’) and can result in misunderstandings
To get around the issues with email, recently many companies have opted for instant messenger systems. And they certainly solve some of these problems. But they have some disadvantages too:
- Context-less – as with emails, instant messenger platforms that are separate from your TMS mean you don’t have the project context, making communication time-consuming and potentially confusing
- A ton of information sources – using an external messaging platform may mean your staff or vendors need to jump between many different systems to check project details (email, instant messaging, CAT Tool, word docs, and maybe even project management systems or TMS…)
- Security issues – some platforms don’t offer the levels of security and data protection that you and your clients need
Augmented communication is the answer
But what does that mean, exactly? It means communication with a little something extra.
In practice, for us, it’s meant using existing technology, but applying it to a new setting.
That’s what we’ve done with XTRF Chat, our new means of communication. It’s instant messaging but within your TMS.
XTRF Chat creates chat rooms for each project with all vendors and project management teams assigned to that project so you can easily ask questions or give updates. And because it’s all within XTRF, you can see queries and conversations in context (the holy grail of translation!), which makes communication easier and quicker.
All of these queries, clarifications, and updates are stored within the project history. So if you need to check back on something, you can easily do it, just within one place.
XTRF Chat can be accessed from within the Home Portal, or as a standalone web or mobile application, meaning you can get speedy responses even when vendors are away from their desk.
Turn off inbox. Turn on productivity.
So maybe it’s worth rethinking your communication methods. Imagine being able to simply work and communicate inside one tool, without being distracted by emails about disparate topics popping up left, right, and center. Certainly sounds easier to focus.
XTRF Chat also makes it easier for your project managers and vendors to talk. Ultimately, it makes communication in project management more effective and more efficient. In turn, this improves your team’s productivity. So, how about it? Time to turn off your inbox, and turn on productivity?