Translation Project Resource Planner

Translation Project Resource Planner

Here’s a quick hack that I’ve put together to help Translation Project Managers (TPMs) figure out quickly the number of resources (translators and reviewers) they’ll need for a project’s given deadline and word count.

Usually, TPMs have to calculate these numbers manually. For small projects this isn’t a concern, but for larger ones things get quite complicated leading to extra time spent on laboring over the math instead of kicking off the project.

The primary project values provided by a client are:

  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Word Count

These values are enough for calculating the number of translators and reviewers a TPM will need for the project, but I’ve taken it a bit further with my tool and have added the ability to specify an average translator/reviewer daily word output, as well as whether these resources will be working on weekends too. This extra information allows for more refined results.

Thus, along with the 3 values mentioned further above, I’ve added these as well:

  • Single translator’s average daily output (in words)
  • Single reviewer’s average daily output (in words)
  • Will resources work weekends too?

With all the above information at hand, it’s now possible to calculate the number of resources required.

First, we need to come up with the actual days available for completing the project, since this number will allow us to proceed with the remaining number crunching. This is easily done by subtracting the end date from the start date:

Project Duration = End Date - Start Date

Next, to calculate the number of translators the project will need we have to apply 2 division operations; the first divides the project word count by the project duration, and the second divides the outcome of the first division by the single translator’s average daily output. All this could seem confusing, so let’s see how it’s expressed when using simple math:

Number of Required Translators

The same logic is also applied to calculate the number of required reviewers:

Number of Required Reviewers

To create the tool, I chose to use spreadsheet software (i.e. Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice Calc etc.) which is available on all operating systems. This means that you can easily run this tool just by opening it up in your favorite spreadsheet application. Here’s a screenshot of it with some demo data:

Translation Project Resource Planner Screenshot

You can download the Translation Project Resource Planner by clicking on this link: Download

Update: I’ve coded an online version of this tool which you can quickly use straight from your web browser! Click here to use it.

Note: If you find this tool useful enough in your day-to-day work, please consider sustaining this effort by either donating any amount of money, buying a copy of my book, or purchasing my app. This site has no other revenue stream other than the aforementioned ones, to cover expenses like domain/hosting costs. Please help keep it ad-free and with a future.

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About Petro Dudi
Petro Dudi is an American expat residing the last two decades in Athens, Greece. His professional career revolves around the Translation & Localization Industry for more than 17 years, having translated or project managed numerous projects for tech giants such as Microsoft, IBM/Lotus, Adobe, Symantec, GE Energy, Caterpillar, Toshiba, LaCie, Canon, Sony, Nokia, Bosch, Siemens etc. Petro is also the author of "Translation 101: Starting Out As A Translator", and the creator of the "Translation101 Toolkit" software.
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