Françoise Henderson, Author at Rubric | Page 2 of 3

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In our fast-paced, digitally driven world, adaptability is often what sets a successful business apart from the rest. And where information travels in the blink of an eye, expansion into new, multilingual markets is now more simple and streamlined than ever. But as with most things, if you start out too fast — without the correct contingencies in place — you’ll find yourself hampered down the line.

Today, most businesses are inheriting legacy issues from outdated programs and software, most of which contain important documentation and protocols that need to be retained. Because the rapid acceleration of digital connectivity has rendered much of the older tech obsolete, many a company is left scrambling to upgrade and overhaul.

The impact of a Legacy System overhaul

Legacy systems are often inextricably woven into a business’s daily routines and processes. So relied upon have they become, and for so long, that even a small change can cause a disruptive ripple effect throughout the company. There are other considerations to be mindful of, too:

  • Staff training on the new system you’ve chosen to implement takes time
  • Transferring vital data from the old system to the new can eat up resources
  • There needs to be extra support for the logistical problems that may crop up during the transition

An overhaul will likely put your business on the back foot for a time, hampering your ability to meet impending deadlines or respond to industry fluctuations with agility. This is not to mention how daunting an entire overhaul can seem if you’ve made the decision to handle the upgrade internally.

Translating old software to meet the demands of expansion

Just as a system needs to be upgraded to meet new technological demands, so too does documentation need to be translated to keep up with international acquisitions and company growth. This includes translating old software into new languages, revising said documentation, as well as adapting your company’s internal training programs to reflect the above changes. Following this, a roll-out to all of your multilingual markets needs to happen, taking extra care to ensure that the software and documents are tailored to each location so that nothing is lost in translation.

Global Content — future-proofing your systems for further expansion

Translation should not be an afterthought. The overriding issue is that most manufacturers believe that language can be bolted on at the end. This is an incorrect belief that will harm your business’s scalability. Instead, companies should think in terms of Global Content from the outset. By engaging with a Global Content Partner like Rubric from the start, these expenses and issues can be avoided.

A Global Content Partner will help you achieve your global strategy goals by creating a solid framework from the outset. By guiding you through key content decisions when moving operations into unfamiliar territory, a Global Content Partner can protect you against any issues that arise from miscommunication, too.

With Rubric, you’ll have the ideal Global Content Partner to alleviate much of the stress that comes with necessary system overhauls. Get in touch with us and let’s get started on delivering strategic, goal-orientated Global Content for your business today.


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In its infancy, few could have predicted the revolutionary effect social media would have on the brand/consumer relationship. Never before has a business had such a powerful, direct line of communication with clients, both new and existing. Conversely, users have scarcely commanded a business’s attention as powerfully as they do now.


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Even the best global content strategy will fall down if it is not supported by well-defined, well-implemented policies and procedures. Localization is one of the key components of multilingual content development, and so businesses cannot afford to overlook localization process.

Without effective processes, the risk of missed translation delivery dates and quality issues rises exponentially – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As CSA Research explains, localization processes are essential to governance: without them, it is impossible to accurately benchmark performance and determine whether your strategy is working. Process also ensures that localization is given the appropriate attention and budget. And last but not least, process enables localization teams to serve as centers of expertise that drive effective globalization processes business-wide.1

This article will examine the importance of both internal and external processes – the processes that take place within the localization function, and those by which localization teams interact with the rest of the business – and share some of our best practice advice for optimizing your policies.

 

Internal processes

Implementing strong internal processes is the first step towards effectively executing a global content strategy. After all, a localization team can hardly be expected to integrate with other business functions until its internal workings are properly established and streamlined.

CSA Research identifies 11 primary areas that require internal processes:

  • Vendor selection
  • Vendor training
  • Vendor portals
  • Job submission
  • Escalation procedures
  • Linguistic review 2
  • Quality metrics
  • Terminology management
  • Community management
  • Forecasting and planning
  • Monitoring and reporting

In our experience, most businesses have processes in place for some of these areas, but many localization teams lack defined policies in at least a few fields. We recommend reviewing your workflows to determine whether there are any weaknesses in your existing approach. For example, when it comes to terminology management, does your company have a single repository for approved nomenclature? Do translators all utilize the same translation memories?

Defining process for all – or at least most – of these areas will drastically boost productivity, reduce admin work, and improve content quality. What’s more, you will be empowered to measure localization performance, and you will be able to use that data to make further process improvements.

 

External processes

Globalization does not begin and end with the localization team. Delivering a truly effective global customer journey requires collaboration between a wide array of different departments: marketing, customer service, product development, and more. With that in mind, we recommend establishing clear processes that dictate how localization teams should interact with other business functions.

By far the most important consideration is the stage at which localization teams participate in external processes. It is essential for globalization stakeholders to join strategy and design conversations as early as possible so that they can ensure global content strategy priorities are factored into decision-making.

Achieving this level of collaboration can be challenging, especially if the silo mentality is prevalent within your organization. But aligning business functions on a shared globalization agenda can have a profound impact on the quality of the global customer experience. The benefits are well worth the effort.

We’ve found that the best way to implement and enforce cross-departmental localization processes is to establish centralized executive oversight.

 

Avoiding operational waste

Perhaps the most compelling reason to adopt formal localization processes is eliminating unnecessary operational waste.

In many situations, content and translations can be reused across multiple deliverables to improve consistency while saving time and money – in fact, reusability should be one of your primary considerations when authoring content. But without clear processes, it can be very difficult to identify opportunities for reuse, and so effort is wasted as content is rewritten.

Similarly, redundant steps and unnecessary back-and-forth within and between teams can significantly inflate localization costs. CSA research has found that, on average, the vast majority of what companies spend on localization projects goes to admin and overheads, with only 25% spent on the actual translation and research. While some admin is necessary, operational waste accounts for a significant portion of expenditure – in some cases, up to one third of the total cost.3

Assess whether the members of your teams know exactly what they need to do when they receive localized deliverables. How long does each step take? Can some of these steps be removed, or the time shortened? Many waste issues, such as unnecessary process steps or overlooked technology features, are very easy to fix. Starting with these simple problems can yield major results for minimal effort.4

 

Work with a global content partner for continuous improvement

Is there an LSP that you use often for translations? If so, are they merely reactive, translating work as necessary, or are they proactive in coming up with process suggestions to reduce costs over the long-term? What happens when translated content is received? Does it include receiving working files that can be immediately integrated into your company’s own workflows? If not, it’s important to realize that a better process would save your internal teams a great deal of effort.

As a global content partner, Rubric doesn’t just treat localization projects as one-off, transactional engagements. We will work with you holistically to understand your globalization requirements. We will help you design tailored localization processes to maximize the quality of your content and optimize your resource utilization. And over the course of the partnership, as we grow more familiar with your business, we will continuously offer proactive suggestions to help you further enhance both your internal and external processes.

Contact us to learn how you can get your processes on the right track today.

 

  1. CSA Research, Process: Globalizing Enterprise-Wide, p.1-2.
  2. CSA Research, Process: Globalizing Enterprise-Wide, p.2.
  3. CSA Research, The Interoperability Dilemma, p.10.
  4. CSA Research, The Interoperability Dilemma, p.20.

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In 2014, Amway introduced The Voice as a platform for its independent business owners to communicate, collaborate, and share ideas. But while The Voice looked great on paper, Amway quickly realized that facilitating clear and productive communication was more complicated than they had initially expected. Amway Business Owners (ABOs) come from all corners of the globe, speaking a combined total of over 60 languages.


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It’s great to have a phenomenal product and the desire for it to be accessible on a global level. But that means ensuring that your business processes are ready to meet your clients’ expectations in all your target markets.  For localization to be successful, however, it’s vital that you implement a company-wide strategy. This will greatly assist your localization team to achieve their goals and ensure high-quality work.

Several strands make up a successful strategy:

  • Corporate-focused:

This strand centers on the granular details of a company: How to differentiate yourself from your competitors, the finer details of your services or products, and the specifics of your target market.

 

  • Processes:

This strand focuses on what globalization processes should be or have been implemented in your organization. More specifically, it revolves around what those localization processes are or need to be for every department to ensure that localization is optimal across the board for each region targeted.

 

  • Content:

The content  strand outlines exactly which content you want localized in order to reach your target audiences and ensure your customers have a phenomenal customer experience.

By implementing these three strands, you are successfully executing on your localization strategy, which will have a better chance of success. Let’s take a look at the advantages of integrating these strands on a granular level:

  • By thinking of the global picture from the outset of product (or service) development, you are in a much better position to cater for various markets from the get-go instead of having to adapt products later on, which could prove costly or impossible.
  • Excellent and high-quality localization means cooperation and collaboration between all key departments such as product development, marketing and sales. By getting them on the same page early, your localization efforts will be born out of teamwork, which means that those efforts are more likely to be successful.
  • ‘Ad hoc’ localization efforts are invariably disjointed, expensive and misaligned with company goals. Even ‘cost-effective’ ad hoc solutions turn out to be expensive if they mean making changes to services or products or recreating content entirely. That’s why a localization strategy that forms an integral part of the company’s product development is so important.

If the idea of implementing localization strategies makes perfect sense to you and you think it will transform your globalization efforts, then here are some things you can do to start implementing them.

See that localization is communicated to the entire company so that its value is seen across departments. Once there is understanding and buy-in from individuals throughout the company, strategies can be rolled out as part of the company’s overarching strategy. It’s a good idea to take a look at cold hard facts and figures when showing colleagues the value of localization. Take a look at what additional revenue might be generated because of localization, and then take a look at the localization budget vs. the return on investment due to localization.

It’s especially important to ensure that upper management sees the value of localization, so ensure that they understand the return on investment that it can provide. If you have them on board it will be infinitely easier to get buy-in from the rest of the company and to get solid plans for localization woven into the fabric of the company’s primary business processes.

Once you have the key stakeholders on board, it’s crucial to explain to each of the departments how beneficial the process is if tasks are executed properly the first time. Localization can become costly when tasks need to be reworked or redone entirely. This can have a domino effect on different areas of the company. Making sure everything is done right the first time means that identifying exactly which markets your company will focus on right at the beginning is vital. Think carefully about which markets you want to target. Consider analyzing the value of each market to your company – both in terms of actual figures and where you would like to be into the future. Once you have analyzed them, apply a tiered rating. This will give you and your company greater understanding of which markets to focus on.

Once you have tiered the markets, do a content audit to determine what content is already available and then figure out which should be leveraged and localized for each tier. This is a big job and should probably be done in stages and department by department.

Keep in mind that the stakeholders that commission the implementation of localization are often not involved in the strategy. That’s why it’s so important that they understand the overarching themes, ideas, markets, and goals. You need to make sure that communication is clear and directed to those who will execute the tasks. It’s essential that everyone is on the same page and clearly understands what needs to be done.

If the localization strategies are poorly implemented or non-existent, you are probably going to see people scramble to complete last minute jobs. This means that things can’t run smoothly, processes can’t be customized and implemented across the board, and the right tools probably won’t be used. It will undoubtedly affect both the quality and the delivery of localized content.

Do you feel that implementing solid localization processes and strategies is definitely right for your company but not sure where to start or worried about how time-consuming it would be? Then contact us at Rubric. We can discuss your localization needs and the ample benefits of implementing the Localization Maturity Model, ensuring that your company is truly able to go global.


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Companies take many factors into consideration when setting budgets. More often than not, localization is seen as an additional cost, making it extremely difficult to do business across borders. If you take a different approach though and look at localization in relation to the volume of additional sales it generates, the picture looks quite different. In many companies localization generates $1,000 for every dollar spent on localization. That puts it into perspective, doesn’t it? Which is why it’s so vital for you to ensure that localization is being implemented correctly.

As part of your role, you’d also want to ensure that you are getting the most valuable solution for your company, which is why you would want to measure whether your current service providers and translation agency are actually providing that value. The good news is that you can do this through CSA Research’s Localization Maturity Model (or LMM).

The LMM is a framework created to make sure that everything your organization needs for their localization and globalization plans are met, that they are tailored to your specific needs and for you to understand your current standing in the process. No matter which LMM stage your organization is at, there are a set of steps to take to ensure it is successfully implemented. The step we will focus on in this blog post, is that of governance and how benchmarking it will help you to track your most important metrics.

What exactly is governance?

According to CSA Research, localization governance is explained as “The processes that ensure the efficient use of resources to achieve an organization’s global business goals and compliance with agreed-upon policies and procedures.”

Here are some areas you may want to look at:

  • Where does the money come from?

The finance and/or purchasing departments typically allocate funds to translation. The question, however, is how is it done? Is it part of the general funds allocated (for example, you have x allocated to marketing, y to sales, etc.) or is translation ring-fenced? Does it have its own specifically allocated funds?

  • Service Level Agreements

What Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are in place to ensure localization quality meets required standards? Similarly, what SLAs are in place with regards to linguistic quality, customer service, turnaround, etc.?

  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Are KPIs linked to costs? What about linking them to revenue? What about customer satisfaction? Is it measured at all? Is your company measuring Total Cost of Ownership (outsourced + internal effort/expenditure)?

  • Functional silos

Is there interdepartmental cooperation and sharing of knowledge? Are there coordinated translation efforts with might lead to a smoother localization path?

Ultimately, you want to ensure that you implement the LMM and conduct the governance step to track your localization efforts and learn on how to improve on them.

Simply put, governance is important because it allows you to ensure the highest standards possible across the board. From ensuring high-quality localized content to keeping within budget and making sure that employees spend their time efficiently. The important thing to remember, is that it’s not just good enough to implement governance processes in place to achieve localization – it can’t be seen in isolation. All the steps to the LMM are important for the optimum localization strategy and success. Interested in finding out more or understanding how this can come together in your business? Contact us at Rubric today.

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash


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For countless organizations, “going global” is the most effective path to growth – and that makes localization a business-critical process. There are no two ways about it – to succeed in a global marketplace, you need to speak directly to your customers in a language that they understand. Continue reading to learn about the Localization Maturity Model.

Implementing a consistent localization strategy can be a daunting prospect, especially for businesses that are new to the global arena, and for large organizations that are held back by silos. And to further compound the challenge, disruptive trends such as digital transformation, customer empowerment, and increased competition mean that even companies in the earliest stages of global growth need highly advanced localization processes to stand out from the crowd.

This is where the Localization Maturity Model (LMM) comes in. Developed by CSA Research (formerly known as Common Sense Advisory), the LMM provides practical guidance for rapidly advancing localization maturity to deliver the best possible global customer experience. Not sure if the LMM would be right for your company? Then take a look at what incorporating it could mean for you.

 

What is the Localization Maturity Model?

The latest iteration of the LMM, Localization Maturity Model 3.0, is based on data collected from 90 global businesses in 15 countries. The model identifies four levels of localization immaturity (Discouraging, Scornful, Obstructive and Negligent), followed by five levels of localization maturity:

  • 1 – Reactive– At this phase, workflows are kept relatively ad hoc, things are done as they need to be done, and there is a lot of uncertainty around roles and responsibility. There aren’t proper plans or strategies in place.
  • 2 – Repeatable– There are a few processes in place and some of them are updated and used regularly.
  • 3 – Managed– There are signs of things being much more formal and documented. Localization is actively being managed and various vendors are used.
  • 4 – Optimized– In this phase, there is an optimized and managed system of localization. It’s a priority for the company, standards and processes are adhered to, and tools are shared internally.
  • 5 – Transparent – There are well-implemented systems, processes, and tools in place. They are constantly being improved upon and scaled. Localization is an integral part of the company and all products and release planning are based on it.

For each level, the LMM offers comprehensive guidelines on how to progress to the next, more optimized stage – enabling rapid, step-by-step improvement until your business has reached full localization maturity.

 

The core areas of improvement

The Localization Maturity Model offers targeted advice for improvement in five key areas. Here’s a brief look at the ways the LMM will help you develop your approach:

  • Governance: Governance is the process of ensuring that everything that is done is tracked and is in accordance with agreed-upon policies. This can be done by looking at KPIs that can be monitored and tracked.
  • Strategy: It’s vital to create a solid, business-wide localization strategy that focuses all stakeholders on common objectives. This is where companies will set long-term goals and budgets for expansion and growth. Involving all departments in the conversation will ensure that localization becomes a part of the overall business strategy, and it will enable decision-makers to see the value of localization.
  • Process: For localization to be successful, there needs to be a set and defined process, or set of processes, in place. It’s crucial that this process is documented so that employees across departments can all be on the same page. This document can be agile and can be added to as the processes evolve. You can kick this off by listing any processes you might already have in place.
  • Organizational structure: This links to the point above. Once you have implemented localization processes, ensure that they are clearly communicated to the rest of the team. Make sure that the concept of localization, best practices, style guides, and glossaries are shared, explained and discussed. Ensure that your upper management understands the importance implementing a Center of Excellence – a centralized hub with business-wide oversight of your localization program.
  • Automation: Many elements of the localization process can be automated. This won’t necessarily impact every department, but it can be one of the greatest sources of time and cost savings.

 

The benefits of the Localization Maturity Model

With the LMM implemented, you are empowered to select the best vendors, create solid and successful strategies, implement streamlined processes, utilize optimal tools, and set up the most important KPIs.

In the long-term, this will deliver immense cost savings by eliminating duplicated effort and driving content reuse. Additionally, improved content consistency will enhance the customer experience – which, in turn, will lead to business growth as you become better positioned to reach a wider global audience.

 

Take the first step: benchmark your globalization maturity

Instigating an organizational transformation is never an easy task, and that’s why we recommend benchmarking the status of your localization strategy. CSA Research has found that many executives don’t see globalization as a true business process. In fact, given the lack of ROI data available, upper managers often view localization as a cost rather than an investment. By benchmarking, identifying the gaps in your current approach, and using the LMM to put forward realistic solutions, you can demonstrate that localization has the potential to deliver real value with the right resources.

To streamline the adoption of the LMM, consider working with your global content partner. At Rubric, we have 25 years of experience helping businesses optimize their localization processes. Our experts are on hand to help you develop an organization-wide globalization strategy tailored to the specific needs of your business.


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