Optimizing Agile Localization And Translation

by Beshar Bahjat

Agile localization and translation

Agile localization is part of a shift in software development. Companies are adopting a more Agile approach towards product release and updates. For organizations requiring multilingual versions of their applications, working in tandem with a localization partner that fits the workflow is essential to timely success and release of the product.

Agile development requires agile localization for global expansion. The localization workflow must be modified and integrated into agile development cycles. Businesses need to push out incremental software updates, new features, and patches promptly in all languages. These updates have to be translated and distributed at the same time as the English release.

Agile localization process

A traditional localization process cannot adequately keep up with agile release cycles. The challenge becomes finalizing new features strings for translation early in the sprint. Agile software localization does not always fit into the development sprint. Some potential solutions include:

  • Breaking it up into demonstrable sections with distinct locales taking precedence
  • Developers should communicate with the localization team to give advanced notice on localization requirements
  • Make localization team part of the overall group
  • Ensure proper internationalization to avoid workarounds
  • Automate processes for sending and receiving strings for localization

Not all sprints would result in substantial changes to the interface. Nonetheless, these sprints must manage localization.

Utilizing agile localization operates as a part of  the agile software development process. Fundamental distinctions between traditional and agile localization lie in the size of projects, drop frequency of projects, and turnaround.

The agile cycle and sprints

The agile cycle has small incremental sprints which are intensive rounds of activity that yield speedy results. Localization is a continuous component of the agile cycle in contrast to the traditional cycle in which localization only begins to perform a significant role at the finish when the source product nears its international release date.

Agile is a management process with a narrow and compressed range that divides tasks into smaller efforts. The goal is to create product development advancements in short, typically two-week cycles, or sprints. At the end of the sprint, agile cycles result in increased releases over considerably fewer periods of time than with traditional sequences in software production. Advantages of utilizing an agile process include:

  • Quicker organizational planning
  • Less bottlenecks
  • Faster releases
  • More frequent user feedback
  • Increased speed-to-market
  • Integrating testing throughout the lifecycle
  • Ability for requirements to emerge and evolve

Establishing and scheduling processes and resources can help sustain a more predictable translation project. The logical conclusion is that agile software development requires agile localization. Ordinarily, team members schedule brief daily meetings to review work progress, define workflow responsibilities, and present overviews of new and existing features. The result is a more flexible development process, better understanding of requirements and final goal, and achieving tighter communication between team members.

Regular and consistent team of translators

Thinking about software localization late in the process will result in a releasable English only product versus a multilingual product. Consistently including a translation team part of the sprints which results in a multilingual product that can potentially be demoed at the end of each sprint. Translators are specialists of the culturally adapted end user experience and can prove beneficial in identifying issues and quality problems. Having them as part of the process provides ample time to implement their feedback and advice.

A change in software development

Agile development represents a change in the way software development is approached. In fact, it has proven advantageous in generating extremely productive outcomes. Efforts take time, money, and a concentrated initiative. The move to agile takes training investments, tools, and new thinking processes. In several organizations, localization has been a developmental afterthought.

Here at Interpro, we understand the critical nature of seamless integration translation software into the development process. Agile localization is ideal for tech-driven, fast-growing software companies so that a business can focus on continuous product development. Agile localization supports quick-turn, dynamic needs. The localization of your sprint content should not be a bottleneck. Have your partner work with your team together for planning and executing the localization of sprints. Our ability to act quickly with our clients as an extension of their product development teams enables Interpro to be an ideal fit for the agile software development cycle.

Beshar Bahjat

"Working with people who care about what they do and want to do the right thing makes coming to work much more enjoyable."