How to cope with the lack of resources for terminology management? – Part III

Strategy Two: Build relationships in the terminology community

There is a strong terminology community. People are coming together to energize each other and share experiences. TermNet now has one-on-one training for those who need specific help. In addition, they organize their summer schools in which people gather to get training and exchange ideas and make the terminology community stronger.

A way to build a strong terminology community for your project, Gabriele recommends making a stakeholder analysis as per ISO 29383, Annex A (Tools for stakeholder analysis). The tool called the “Power and Interest grid”, is a simple four-sided square that helps identify those who can help you with the challenges of time, people, and resources. Sit with the terminology champions who are already supporting you, and identify those who have the power to decide on resources and those who have an interest in terminology. Depending on their level of high/low power and high/low interest, there are four strategies that can be applied: “Manage closely”, “Keep satisfied”, “Keep informed”, and “Monitor”.

Obviously, the most important stakeholders are in the “Manage closely” grid, as they have high power and interest. We are lucky if we can identify just one person in this category within the organization. This person will be your mentor: You can ask for help, and you can rely on him/her to offer you resources. You have to give him/her continuous information, share your milestones and even your setbacks in order to facilitate his or her full engagement; in order words, keep this person happy!

Those in the “Keep satisfied” grid are high in power but low in interest. These people are a bit skeptical. So offer information but don’t overwhelm them. Share your enthusiasm with them. Stakeholders in the “Keep informed” grid are low power but high interest. Although they don’t have the power to give you resources, they will be the champions who will support you along the way. Gabriele reminded us about “The Law of Attraction”, people with high power or interest attract the same type of people. Positive people attract positive people. Stakeholders in this grid might climb the career ladder and get more power, so you want to keep them always in the loop. Inform them and offer them the opportunity to give you feedback. They will be happy to offer their wisdom.

Those in the “Monitor” grid are low in power and interest. Don’t make the mistake to think that these people are not worth your time and energy because most are neutral but some could be a negative influence, as they don’t see any direct advantages for them. Keep an eye on them and tell them how your project would benefit them to get their attention.

Gabriele pointed out that this analysis is important as the first step in your terminology project. Sit down with people and come up with names, even their pictures. After this exercise, you will be surprised to see that there are more people willing to support you than you initially thought.

Hold stakeholder interviews. Gabriele provided a few examples of feedback from interviewees and warned us about preaching. Don’t overwhelm people to try to convince them to help you. Ask them what their needs are. The examples of feedback her team received included remarks on the need for consistency, errors in a manual system that was hard to update, lack of a “source of truth”, need to have a policy which they are willing to follow, etc. This information came directly from her stakeholders who were aware of the problem that needed to be resolved. Her team didn’t have to force the information out of them.

This is the end of Gabriele Sauberer’s presentation. Check out Part I and Part II. I have saved these posts under the tag cloud “TMstrategy”. I hope you enjoyed and learned as much as I did when I wrote them.

You can download the PowerPoint presentation and check the last slides for information on TermNet discounts for their courses by clicking on this link:

You can also watch the full webinar here:

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