3 things you need to be a good Terminology Project Manager


  1. Knowledge is power. And you acquire knowledge by learning the tools and techniques that are available and how and when to use them. 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. Be sure, for example to check out this link on PM tools, process, plans, and project planning tips, for starters. You can learn from everyone’s successes and mistakes so that you can be better at managing you project. You don’t want to attend a meeting and not know what a Gantt chart is!


  1. Performance is key. But knowing is not everything. You need to deliver. This one is about keeping your nose to the grindstone and doing good work. You have to show that your terminology project is important to you. Lead with example: Be on time, meet deadlines, and don’t be sloppy. When you cut corners you have to cut back and fix all the mistakes, whether they were yours or your team’s. Ask yourself this: What am I able to do or accomplish while applying all the knowledge that I have acquired on project management?


  1. Personal Skills (also known as the “soft side” of project management). We spend 90% of our time communicating. If we were to make a list, we are always solving problems, resolving conflicts, negotiating, planning, organizing, correcting people, preventing errors, etc. You need to make personal connections and keep everybody on the right track. You will be dealing with different stakeholders, external and internal: subject experts, technical translators, localizers, etc. (I will post in the future about stakeholders in a terminology project). 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.


List of basic skills: Effective project managers require a balance of ethical, interpersonal, and conceptual skills that help them analyze situations and interact appropriately. Some of those skills are: Leadership, team building, motivation, communication, influencing, decision making, political and cultural awareness, negotiation, trust building, conflict management, and coaching.


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. Thomas.


Head First PMP. A Brain-Friendly Guide. 2nd Edition.
PMBoK Guide. Fifth edition.
The Hard vs. Soft Skill PM Debate blog page.
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One Comment on “3 things you need to be a good Terminology Project Manager

  1. Hello Patricia.

    I am just been promoted as a product manager after the previous unexpectedly quit so I was “ushered” into this position without having too much experience about how it all works.

    I just finished reading another post (http://thinkthyme.com/project-management/how-to-become-a-project-manager) which linked here and I have a question that maybe you can answer:

    How can you manage people’s expectations? it seems like project manager is basically “doing all”. Is there a line where our responsibilities end or are we really in charge of it all from start to finish.

    Would appreciate your thoughts on this.

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