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Will Robots Leave Your Project Managers in the Dust?
Posted by Hélène Pielmeier on June 14, 2017  in the following blogs: Supplier Business Issues, Technology, Best Practices
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Translation projects are no longer what they used to be. Back in the day, language service providers would land big-budget clients with predictable volumes of large projects that came with a variety of add-on services. But these aren’t so common anymore: Most jobs are small, rush, basic, and unpredictable in frequency. This has put tremendous stress on LSPs whose production models haven’t changed as fast at the project landscape has.

As a result, project managers often work long hours to compensate for shortcomings in their organizations’ ability to process work efficiently and deal with a client and vendor base spread across the globe. However, for LSPs, throwing more warm bodies at the problem isn’t really scalable because their PMs may spend close to the same amount of time managing big and tiny projects.

To keep up the pace, providers large and small have no choice but to experiment with new technology, process, staffing, and business models. The biggest disruptor for PM teams is operations driven by artificial intelligence that can handle projects from A to Z without human touch. Of course, all of their production doesn’t go through AI systems. Yet even if they process a modest amount of their projects through them, they need to hire many fewer project managers. In these technology-driven project management environments, PMs turn into support staff that assist users and systems when they encounter issues.

Most teams have still only dabbled with AI. However, it is bound to end up permeating production environments in the next few years as another solution to improve efficiency and keep up with volumes and timelines. However, project management is getting increased scrutiny from executives who seek to reduce cost and improve results. There will always be projects that have to be handled by humans because of their complexity, but project managers are expensive and they do make mistakes, so it makes sense to automate routine tasks. While AI may not lead to mass layoffs, it may curtail the number of junior PMs that LSPs hire.

Where Do You Stand Compared to Your Peers?

To remain competitive, LSPs need to keep a close eye on productivity metrics tied to their PM staff. So how does your team fare? Are your project managers masters of efficiency or do you always wonder if they could handle a bit more work? Are you leaving capacity – and jobs – on the table because your PMs work harder than they need to?

Whether your team is at the forefront of AI deployments or struggling to keep pace, please take the time to peel yourself away from your production work to share some productivity metrics with us. CSA Research recently launched a survey to collect data that will enable us to contrast results for translation vs. interpreting-centric providers, tech-powered teams vs. those that operate more manually, and other similar correlations by company type and geography. We want to capture a realistic picture of the current efficiency spectrum at LSPs. Results will help you benchmark your team. Survey respondents will receive a summary of the report after its publication. Please participate in this comprehensive large-scale study that will help LSPs make important process and technology decisions.

Take the survey or tell us whom we should contact within your organization.


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