Many terminology projects get off to a promising start and then come to nothing. Often this is due to the complexity of the topic and the large number of people involved.
In the latest edition of tk, TermSolutions Managing Director Prof. Dr. Rachel Herwartz explains in an exciting article how agile terminology management can counteract this: Using the example of a virtual corona terminology project.
From cars to software to terminology
Agile project management was developed in the auto industry. Later, the “Kanban principle” from manufacturing was also used in software development. For the complex projects that are traditionally implemented in IT, agile project management has proven to be very promising, says Rachel Herwartz. This is less about new methods than about establishing a new way of thinking, a framework for working in a team. The focus: to achieve the goal together in many small steps. And that can be wonderfully transferred to terminology work, the author is convinced of that.
Agile methods in terminology work
Agile project management methods help terminology teams organize themselves. The iterative processes with small increments not only maintain the workflow, but also the motivation – especially when the teamwork takes place virtually. A pilot project that Rachel Herwartz realized in the 2020 summer semester as head of the MA Translation Management program at the International University of Applied Sciences SDI in Munich shows this. Because the master’s course was completely online due to the pandemic, the virtual, agile terminology project with a focus on Corona was perfect.
Consistent terminology for neural machine translation
In order to meet the huge demand for translations in times of crisis quickly and effectively, there is no getting around neural machine translation, according to the author. However, if the subject-specific database with consistent terminology is missing, the result will inevitably be incorrect. As part of the university project, Rachel Herwartz and her students compile the various Corona glossaries in a terminology management system and compare them. Terms are then exported to improve existing Corona translations. The aim is a worldwide freely accessible database with Covid-19 terminology that can be commented on, edited, downloaded in various formats and integrated into translation systems by all users.
SCRUM roles and sprints in everyday company life
In the article, Herwartz describes in detail how the agile process works in detail. She goes into SCRUM roles and how they are filled. It explains how to define “increments”, maintain the “sprint backlog” and “sprint” so that tasks are implemented. The author also explains how agile terminology work can look like in the daily work in the company beyond the project example. Using the example of Mitutoyo Corporation, she shows that ongoing terminology work is also suitable for the agile approach.
The current print edition of tk is already on its way to all tekom members by post.
The full article will also be published on the tk website shortly.