The relationship between an AM (Account Manager) and a PM (Project Manager) is similar to that of an architect and an engineer when it comes to carrying out a client’s request. To understand this concept, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of each of these protagonists:
I, an entrepreneur, want to construct a building for my company. Even though I may have some basic notions about options, costs, and building materials, the truth is that I must hire someone skilled and experienced to carry out the idea that I have in my mind. I want a building that gives off a positive impression of my company, has spacious rooms and lots of natural light, good views and a nice layout. And of course, the sooner the better because it must be up and running as soon as possible, and that is economical in terms of materials and maintenance.
I am the architect, who takes note of the requirements, times and budget of the client, and then I begin to draw the different options to achieve something that is as close as possible to what the client imagined. In my sketches you can see the majestic views of the building and its well-lit floors, the spaciousness, few walls and columns where windows abound, interior and exterior greenery, an amazing entrance with water fountains and warm and minimalist environments; a simple but effective construction, spacious but economical, and a quick to execute. It sounds ideal, but it is the engineer who has the last word, since it is he or she who will confirm whether or not the whole project is physically possible and whether it is really so simple and economical to carry out.
I am the engineer. I see the sketches and I like the aesthetic, but I have several observations. The entire reception area needs more columns and walls, or the building loses stability. The same can be said of the foundations, you need twice the budget to make them firm because of the poor topology of the terrain. The materials chosen are nice but require a lot of maintenance and still don’t last that long. “You get what you pay for“, I insist. It is preferable to spend a little more and take more time in the construction process in order to avoid problems that in the long run could become irreparable.
Not all translation agencies use the AM-PM model, but at Trusted Translations we are willing to bet on this formula because it is a relationship based on balance. The AM transmits the needs and desires of the client and gives the client an idea of what a given project could cost and how long it may take. It is then the task of the PM to analyze the technical and administrative issues and finally settle on the steps and requirements the project entails. This guarantees that the client will end up with a quality final result without disregarding the original idea or any limitations that may exist.
The determining factors for a translation project are the number of words, the language pairs, the nature of the documents to be translated (Do they need pre-editing or pre-DTP, or subsequent DTP adjustments?).
Each project is a different story, which is why communication between the client, the AM and the PM is essential to achieve optimal results.