Getting Buy-In/ Support For Translation Projects From Upper Management

Product localization can deliver huge value to a company that is looking to go beyond borders. With localization, a company can tap into revenue streams outside its primary market. A localization project manager needs to coordinate a number of different factors. A key element of successful execution of the strategy is the commitment of senior management.

Key aspects to convey

In order to gain support, a project manager has to demonstrate that the project will benefit the company in the long-run. Senior management will provide their support if they are positive of the following aspects of the project:

    • The project will earn revenue for the organization.
    • The project furthers the organization’s vision.
    • The long-term benefits outstrip the short-term costs.

Considerations in getting support

Localization requires a commitment from senior management. Senior management support can be boiled down to one critical skill: communication. When a project manager establishes transparency at the get-go, he builds trust. It is most important to establish good communication habits early in the project. Considering the following factors will aid in devising a communication strategy:

Who do you need to work with –

  1. Know your audience. Are you talking to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), the Chief Sales Officer (CSO), the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO)? The discussion you have with each of these executives will differ. It’s important to understand the success metrics of each of the individuals you are approaching. Try to anticipate causes for concern that management may bring up. For example, the CMO is concerned with connecting with customers. It’s important to discuss how the localization project reaches new customers. The CPO is concerned with vendor relationships. Talk to him about the vendors in the new market and the opportunities for the organization’s growth in this manner.
  2. Clearly communicating all aspects of the project – The project manager must communicate the goal of the project. The expected gains, as well as long-range and short-range metrics, must be shown. Senior management should be apprised of any expected roadblocks and how they will be dealt with. Regular status reports should be promised and delivered. Listening to management’s feedback and addressing their concerns at the outset is a huge step in gaining support. Suggest periodic meetings to keep management apprised of progress.
  3. Articulated return on investment – Being clear on the return on investment for management is critical. Communicate the aim of the project and the resources that will be used. The metrics for measuring success should be highlighted. Projections should be backed by data.

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