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The Charter is a key document that brings together all the separate pieces of information about the project with a view to ensure the buy-in from all the stakeholders.
If it is your first attempt at writing a Charter find a mentor who can advise and direct you.
Most trainers explain the PM process using the cake analogy, and when it comes to goals it is useful to see it from that perspective, too. There are many useful components, tools, and processes involved in PM in order to manage a project successfully, from getting to know your stakeholders to managing time and costs and developing soft skills. One of the first things you need to do when you start a project is to figure out who your stakeholders are and get to know them well. Also, if it’s a large organization, new stakeholders might be popping up as you hold your interviews, so you might need to create a Stakeholder Register (read more here) in which you will need to write down their responsibilities, goals, concerns, and expectations. One of the techniques to identify stakeholders is the Stakeholder Analysis which starts by interviewing all people involved. Stakeholders may also include people from software development, product management, marketing, engineering, R&D, operations, procurement, sales and distribution, legal department, human resources, end users (of termbase), and the sponsor(s).
Ideally, all stakeholders should have at least some knowledge on terminology management, for which you might want to provide basic training at an early stage (terminology tool to be used, etc.), although not all stakeholders have to be trained terminologists! For more guidance on how to get to know your stakeholders better, read this post by Anthony Mersino, What is Stakeholder Relationship Management All About?
List of basic skills: Effective project managers require a balance of ethical, interpersonal, and conceptual skills that help them analyze situations and interact appropriately. Also, you might want to get the book on emotional intelligence for project managers, reviewed here by Max Wideman, and take a look at this short PowerPoint presentation by Glenn J.
Before taking the plunge into project management, I would like to share some valuable resources on project management. Also, if you want to become a certified Project Manager there are lots of resources on the Internet. I have created a section that includes these and a lot of interesting and useful resources on project management under my section “The How-To of Terminology Projects”. By the way, these resources were taken from this free course which I highly recommend: Principles of Project Management by Open2Study. One of the first questions I asked myself when I decided to look for training opportunities in terminology was “What does a terminologist do?” I wanted to know exactly what I was signing up for. But would a terminologist (or translator) be qualified to be a successful terminology project manager (TPM)? You might not recall it but I had previously promised to talk about this subject before and created a section called “The how-to of Terminology Projects”.
Obviously, I do not intend to prepare you to take up a new job as TPM, and just like the purpose of this blog, what I intend is to guide and provide information for beginners who are looking at this for the first time, and having some basic project management skills will come in handy in order to know exactly what you are signing up for. In the meantime, take a quick look at this two and a half minute cartoon on project management to get an idea of what’s to come ahead.
In order to better understand how a project is developed we have to explore the basics of project management. Our terminology project will be unique, that is, it will different from other projects, even other terminology projects. In summary, a project is a process that includes a series of activities that will be carried out under a specific schedule to achieve an objective(s) taking into consideration time, costs, and resources. There is certainly a risk involved because there will always be elements of uncertainty: We might start with a budget that could be reduced, we might have to work with people who are not fully committed to the project, or they might be issues that delay the original schedule. On a separate section in this blog I talk about the business case, that is, how to justify your terminology project, so I would suggest you check it out before we go any further. By Eva Lantsoght With 3 or 4 years to complete your PhD, you might think you will have plenty of time to explore all thoughts and ideas. Fast-forward a year and a half, the monster is not tamed and you are a year and a half closer to the end. Setting up a system to manage your project, to help you keep on the path while roaming through the forest, is as critical to success as your analytical capabilities. While there are seemingly as many methods to manage a large research project, the general ideas of a solid system are the same. One of the most important aspects of managing a project is splitting it up in doable tasks and managing their timing.
A large research project, like a PhD or a project that will last several years, should be split in smaller research projects. For laboratory experiments are: preparing the setup, ordering the required elements and products, preparing the measurement, setting up a system to check and process these measurements, carrying out the experiments, cleaning up and dismantling the setup and finally storing all raw data in an organized way.
If you want to do laboratory experiments, you can’t walk into the lab on the very day your planning says you start your experiments without any previous planning, ordering of materials and negotiating your lab space and time.
From an engineering point of view, safety factors are always necessary on your time and cost budgets. Continuing the ideas to manage a large research project, regular checkpoints are an important aspect of a successful planning.



These checkpoints can take different shapes, depending on the characteristic of the project: for a solitary PhD project these help to keep you motivated, while for a large European research project checks help to keep the whole team on track.
Besides the amount of time that needs to be planned and scheduled to manage a large research project, you will also have to deal with a large number of files: both on your computer and in your physical archives (unless you managed to go completely paperless). To find your information when you need it, it is necessary you start structuring your files (digital and analog) early in the process.
As a scientist 2.0, you are a tech savvy researcher, ready to implement these ideas by using the right tools for it. Google Calendar or another app that allows long-term planning as well as scheduling appointments. With these tools and ideas, planning, managing and moving forward in a project become easier, because you know where to find your information and what you need to work on to keep the entire project on track.
For sure a hard drive can store all the things mentioned in the article, but many people erase it from their mind at the same moment the bytes reach the hard drive. They are an important part of project management processes because they limit the smooth running of a project by creating  bottlenecks or restrictions. The best way to approach it is to think that it’s just a form (download this template) that you need to fill in, and there are many versions of such a form available online that can guide you, in case you need to use it (or you can write your own version).
In a previous post I talked about the importance of managing stakeholders in terminology projects.
So it is not surprising that new processes and tools are created as people learn and obtain experience. A person or group of people who has an interest in your project, is affected by it (directly or indirectly) or who can influence its outcome is a stakeholder. Managing stakeholder expectations is a daily task in a PM’s agenda: communicating with everybody, dealing with hidden agendas, making sure needs are met. Find out the value the project has for them and try to figure out if there are any other stakeholders to interview.
Make sure that they know the mutual benefits of terminology management (refer to my section on ROI and benefits of terminology).
Always keep your stakeholders motivated and updated, recognize their contribution and share ownership of the project. And you acquire knowledge by learning the tools and techniques that are available and how and when to use them. Some of those skills are: Leadership, team building, motivation, communication, influencing, decision making, political and cultural awareness, negotiation, trust building, conflict management, and coaching. Probably all online PM courses are based on the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (or PMBoK Guide) published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) – the largest organization of Project Management professionals in the world. You do need to have at least some basic knowledge of the specialized area you will be working on to be a good project manager, but there is more to it than you might think. This is why in the following posts I would like to bring up this subject again and share some basic information that you should know if you ever decide to become a TPM. And if you want to be certified, you should look at my section Training and sign up for TermNet’s courses (which also include some basic information on PM) and other training opportunities. There are many aspects involved in terminology project planning and we need to talk about them in detail. Every project, regardless of its nature (that is, whether it is a terminology or a construction project) shares essential characteristics and follow similar steps.
It will have specific objectives or goals to achieve, it will require resources (tools, money) and the preparation of budgets, it will be developed under a specific schedule, it will involve the participation of stakeholders (people who are affected by it) and, finally, it will include quality assessments. But a terminology project is an ongoing process, and we can always find ways to tackle these problems. Your terminology project will probably be just one of many, but every one of them will be a continuous learning experience for which you will have to put in to practice your skills, apply the best methodology, and use the adequate tools (e.g. And as you ride along, don’t forget that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that you can also deepen your knowledge by taking a MOOC (free online course) on project management which will give you a broader perspective of what to expect. Unless you have experience in project management, this skill is something you will learn while working as a researcher.
This is why we give you some tips on how to manage a large research project and take your research onto the fast lane. For each research project, the main tasks typically are: literature review, development of theory, experiments, analysis of results and verification of theory and then reporting the results. Similarly, reporting your results can start early on, by writing overviews, summaries and critiques of the literature you processed.
You need to check regularly if you are doing good progress and if you are still running on schedule. The worst you can do is to keep all files on your desktop, and to keep all prints on piles on your desk. An advantage is that Google Calendar can be synced over all your devices since it is in the cloud. Therefore it was difficult to decide exactly what my contribution was going to be. As time passes by, you see more clear your path.


From my experience I need on average only 2-7 days to find out how to use such software tools and I think it is a big help. I found out that I only remember written information well, if I make personal annotations on the edge, underline or otherwise mark the important parts (in colour), make quick sketches, write down by hand the things I want to remember or talk about it with someone personally or by mail. Your Project Charter usually includes accounts for project constraints, also known as The Iron Triangle because you can rarely change one constraint without also impacting the others. That is why, if you go to the leader in PM training—the PMBOK Guide—it is not surprising that their latest 5th Edition has added more processes to their lifecycle. It is important to be AWARE of who they are and what role they play in your project, especially their attitude towards it: Negative stakeholders may not be rooting for your project to succeed (maybe the stakeholder has been doing glossaries manually and feels threatened by that new terminology tool your are trying to implement). Watch out for communication issues, and make sure they get the right information to help them make good decisions. If you are going to get involved in a terminology project, talk to people who have managed similar projects to learn about their experience (learned lessons) and go to my page on resources on project management. If we were to make a list, we are always solving problems, resolving conflicts, negotiating, planning, organizing, correcting people, preventing errors, etc.
Because you could either get involved in an ongoing project in an organization or you could be hired to start one yourself.
Many people think that you have to be an expert translator or terminologist to be a terminology project manager, but in most cases you just need to have a special mix of skills. There are many aspects involved in PM such as defining goals, knowing your stakeholders, managing risks and conflicts, motivating people, knowing the project cycle, etc., and all of these topics (and more) are also part of being a TPM.
And, of course, there are lots of free courses on PM available online which I will be also sharing as we go along. This and future related posts will be organized under a separate page for ease of reference as they are published. You would probably reach your final goal, but that goal will also render a product: a termbase that will need constant updating and maintenance.
Once you narrow down to the level of subtasks, experience and personal circumstances will determine how many hours you need for each small subtask. Your insightful and useful suggestions, would certainly help us all in becoming more planned and organized.
Be sure, for example to check out this link on PM tools, process, plans, and project planning tips, for starters. In any case, you should be aware of what is involved in every step from start to finish, and you will need every resource available to do a good job. The Guide contains standards and best practices for dealing with problems that you will probably encounter in every single project. Actually, some people say you even need to have a special type of personality to succeed as a project manager, which might be leaving some people out of the game before it starts!
That is why it is so important to start with the right foot and make sure that all steps are followed correctly. I guess it is scary to choose for one specific project and as a consequence we juggle with many B-plans incase A fails. Unfortunately I did not yet find a good software for writing and drawing electronically e.g.
You can read more on writing your stakeholder strategy in this short but great post by PM Study Circle). You can learn from everyone’s successes and mistakes so that you can be better at managing you project.
You will be dealing with different stakeholders, external and internal: subject experts, technical translators, localizers, etc. Also, a webpage that I find useful and informative (and it’s free) is Max’s Project Management Wisdom, created by Max Wideman who was the author of the first PMBOX guide (check out for example its PM glossary and his PM 101 edutoon series). I use a small physical calender (smaller than my smartphone) and have never forgotten an appointment. But for me it does not work otherwise and I think this is a general principe that one remembers things better the more u interact with them (like with the methods above).
When you cut corners you have to cut back and fix all the mistakes, whether they were yours or your team’s. It is true that some people have an ability to communicate better with others, but personal skills are something that you can learn if you have the discipline and willingness to unlearn and change your habits.
And to remember as much as possible is essential, I believe, because a computer can store a lot of things but only the brain can categorise, structure and connect them in an intelligent way to produce good research results. Ask yourself this: What am I able to do or accomplish while applying all the knowledge that I have acquired on project management?



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