Project Management


Workflow represents the life cycle of a document in the translation process. In other words, it is a sequence of consecutive steps which lead to a desired output. You can think of each workflow step as a sub-project of sorts since each workflow step is to some extent independent.

Workflow steps have a hierarchical structure, which is determined by their order in the Workflow Steps Setup. Whenever a segment is confirmed in a workflow step, it is propagated to a higher workflow step where its status is unconfirmed. As long as it remains unconfirmed and unedited, any changes to that segment will continue to be propagated from the lower workflow step. However, once the segment is edited or confirmed in the higher workflow step, changes from the lower workflow steps will cease to be propagated.

For example: A translator can modify a segment as many time he or she wants and the last version will get propagated to the revision workflow step. However, as soon as a reviser makes an edit in a specific segment, any further changes to that specific segment from a translator will not get propagated. To be precise, the translator will still be able to make changes to the segment but the changes will not be visible to the reviewer in the higher workflow step.

Memsource deliberately does not directly support different attributes of the Linguist role, such as translator, proofreader, editor, checker, etc. The workflow feature makes it possible to design your own workflow steps and then assign specific Linguists to them. In this way, each Linguist will be assigned a specific task in a project (translation, proofreading, editing, or checking) and this also determines their role in the project. This role is recorded in the Linguist user's profile and the next time a Project Manager is in the process of assigning Linguists to a job, the Linguists who were used for a specific workflow step previously will be offered as relevant.

In Memsource, Workflow is supported from the Team edition up. If a project is shared with a Vendor, workflow steps are preserved according to project settings.

Workflow Setup

The definition of workflow steps is entirely arbitrary, although the default workflow steps (in newly created accounts) are:

- Translation
- Revision
- Client Review

You can add new workflow steps or edit existing ones. Currently, a project can have up to 15 workflow steps.

To create a new workflow step, go to Setup and select Workflow Steps from the Project Settings section. Then, click on New.

Create New Workflow Step

Workflow steps can be added, but they cannot be removed. Only workflow steps with higher hierarchical order can be added to a project with existing workflow steps. For example, if you accidentally create a project with the Revision step, you can later add the Client Review step, but you won’t be able to add the Translation step.

Assigning Jobs in Workflow Steps

Once you activate all desired workflow steps for your project (i.e. Translation, Revision, Client Review), 3 versions of your files will live in your project: the Translation version, the Revision version, and the Client’s Review version. You will be able to assign Linguists to take care of translation and other Linguists to take care of revision. The final step can be assigned to a Client with Linguist or Guest user rights. You can even assign different translation memories to each workflow step. You can also split a file in all workflow steps, or have it be split in only one step.

Assigning TMs in Workflow Steps

When selecting TMs for projects with workflow, the user can decide whether the same translation memories should be selected for all of the project's workflow steps, or whether each workflow step should have its own TM setup.

Email Notification

When you assign a job to a Linguist or Vendor in the first workflow step, you can manually notify them by email (by going to the project, selecting the job, and clicking on Tools then Email... ) or you can tick Notify Linguists when importing the job to that project during setup.

However, Linguists assigned in higher steps will be Automatically notified the moment the job in the previous step is set to "Completed". In this way, the proofreader can start to work immediately after the translation is completed. Linguists will also be notified for next steps (if applicable) or if the job is rejected.

Sometimes when working with a tight deadline, it is desirable to start a Revision even before the Translation was completed. Memsource Workflow allows such a procedure. However, it is necessary to proceed with caution.

If a job has not been completed in the preceding workflow step, the indicator that shows confirmed segments will be red. If you hover your mouse over it, a warning message will appear, stating "Preceding workflow step not completed". You can tell by the segment status in Memsource Editor whether a segment was confirmed or has remained unconfirmed in the preceding workflow step. 

Segment status

Even in this case, however, the reviser can ignore the warning and go ahead with the Revision. If you decide to do this, it is crucial to work only with segments confirmed by the translator. If the reviser changes a segment that has not been confirmed in the preceding workflow step (in this case, Translation), changes by the translator will not be propagated to the Revision step afterward. To ensure that the reviser will work only on segments confirmed in the preceding step, he or she can go to Tools and selecting Preferences in the Editor. Select "Next segment confirmed in the preceding workflow step.

It is also important to understand how workflow steps interact. Workflow steps have a hierarchical relationship. Because revision is above translation as a workflow step, it has the following consequences:

  1. Edits get pushed from a lower workflow step (e.g. translation) to a higher workflow step (e.g. revision).
  2. As soon as a segment gets edited in a higher workflow step, it cannot be overwritten anymore from a lower workflow step (even though the translator can continue editing and the segment is not "locked" for the translator).

Another possibility, and a safer approach, for simultaneous translating and revising, would be splitting a file into smaller parts in all workflow steps. A reviser would start only after a certain part is marked as  Completed by the Linguist.

Canceling a Job in a Workflow Step

Setting the job status to Cancelled will automatically set the same status to all the workflow steps of the same job. Please use this option with caution.

Higher to Lower Workflow Step Propagation

Technically, such propagation is not possible as said before, but Memsource can be “tricked”. If you need a translator’s approval of changes made by a reviser, you can set up a workflow with 3 steps, e.g.:

1. Translation—hierarchical order 10
2. Revision—hierarchical order 20
3. Translator's revision—hierarchical order 30

A translator will be assigned to Workflow steps no. 1 and 3. With this setup, the revision goes "back" to the translator in a way. In the third step, he will be able to see the reviser’s comments and corrections, whereas he would not be able to see them in his/her initial step.
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