From vicious to virtuous cycle
This chapter discusses the challenges of customer-focused quality management in outsourced translation and localization projects. Current quality management theory, which frames quality in terms of customer satisfaction, suggests that quality cannot be defined, but rather must be modeled based on customer requirements. However, most customers cannot state their quality requirements and no consensus currently exists as to the operational definition of quality as a variable in translation and localization projects. These challenges are exacerbated by traditional project management approaches, in which customer quality assessment is undertaken in the final stages of a project based on preferences (unidentified needs) rather than requirements (identified needs). Agile project management methodologies offer effective strategies for overcoming these problems, but require significant changes in approaches to project management and to client review, as well as a greater degree of client involvement.