Project management is both an art and a science. It requires considerable professionalism and skills. Skills to solve all the unpredictable issues that occur every day. Solving these should be the focus of your work. Pushing files, sending reminders and tedious paperwork should not take up the bulk of your day. These repetitive, mind-numbing actions are better suited for dumb machines, not humans. And they should be taken over by machines. The key role of a project manager is to solve problems, not perform repetitive tasks.
A modern project manager should focus on first automating his work as much as possible. He becomes the supervisor of the managed process instead of its direct performer. These automations are not replacing your work, they are supporting it. Your valuable time can be used better to improve the process you manage. You can add your indispensable human touch where it is needed most.
In a translation agency, a typical service runs through a standardized set of steps. These can all be run by an automated process. Below are 5 key places where a translation project should be automated.
Automate project launch
There is a lot of work-related to launching a translation project. For example, generating quotes based on volume and service selection, or schedule and terms negotiation. These can be easily automated by using automatic analyses and formalizing service terms. Use the tools to your advantage, so you do not work on time-consuming quotes manually. You save time for yourself and your customers. It is a competitive market. Delivering a quote faster than your competitors will give you an important edge.
Automate document generation
There is a lot of paperwork related to project management. Purchase orders, reports, timesheets, financial documents are time-consuming and a potential source of errors. Delegating their preparation to automated tools saves you a lot of effort and hassle.
Automate vendor selection
Verifying availability calendars and matching specializations is best done automatically. It is also time-consuming and often leads to overloading your favorite vendors with too much work. Automating that part of your job is best done with the appropriate tool.
Automate follow-up actions
An automated process knows when something has been finished. It knows the follow-up actions to perform. Tracking these by hand is tedious and error-prone. Triggering automatic follow-up actions saves you time, shortens project duration, and eliminates mistakes.
Automate final delivery
Last but not least, you do not have to do the final delivery of the finished product to your customer. If all the process steps are automated, the final task should be too. With appropriate quality assurance, you bring no value by doing it manually. When automated, the customer can receive the project from a vendor in a different timezone. The automated process works while you are away, or even asleep.
Automation is the next big thing in project management. Its huge impact on performance cannot be ignored. Managing projects by hand is a thing of the past. A project manager should be a supervisor and not a direct performer of the process.
I will add a final word of caution. If you do not automate your processes, some of your competitors will. Don’t let them gain an advantage – start automating today.