Tips for Small Budget Software Localization, part 1: Plan, Plan, Plan

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This is the first part of our new series of small budget software localization tips.

What is the most expensive part in every project? It’s the unexpected, additional work which needs to be done “like now”. It is more than common that these surprises are strongly related to poor and insufficient planning. Although no one can be completely sure how the upcoming localization project will proceed, an excellent knowledge of the project and its requirements will decrease the possibility of having unpleasant surprises.

A good plan helps you to see the big picture and allocate resources to the right things. When talking about software localization, control is a good thing. It brings a sophisticated touch to the project. A written plan is an excellent guide for every project participant. Whether everybody in the project has the essential knowledge or not has a huge effect on the amount of surprises. And like you probably know, any change in the schedule, in translators’ work, in the need for development skills etc. will cost you something.

So what are the elements of a good plan? Well, the more the better is a good slogan to start with. A plan doesn’t have to be a fancy document. It can be just a list of tasks with due dates, responsibilities and other relevant information. The main thing is to sit down and plan the project root and branch, and to find all the possible surprises beforehand.

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