Lost in content management: Constructing quality as a global technical communication metric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: As the demand for creating multilingual information products increases, so does the need to manage the costs of translation and to have sound approaches to producing high-quality multilingual texts. While component content management (CCM) is committed to both cost reduction and quality improvement, it also presents several challenges to multilingual quality. In this article, I present approaches for constructing multilingual quality as a global TC metric. Method: This article relies on the results of two surveys, one conducted through technical communication venues and one through technical translation venues. Results: The surveys identified contradictions in the beliefs and practices of multilingual quality in CCM environments that led to problems with multilingual quality. I group the contradictions and problems with the help of the activity theory lens and, based on this grouping, present questions that global technical communication project teams can ask themselves to improve their work practices. Conclusions: Effective communication between stakeholders and the knowledge of end-users are the two prerequisites to creating high-quality multilingual information products in CCM environments. Approaches to multilingual quality need to be collaborative and highly contextualized—dependent on business goals, user needs, and available resources. Taking the lead in multilingual quality management is one area for technical communicators to add value to their organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-52
Number of pages23
JournalTechnical Communication
Volume66
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Keywords

  • Component content management
  • Content strategy
  • Global technical communication
  • Quality
  • Translation/localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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