Assigning tasks

Once a project has been started, the next step for the project manager is to assign the various tasks to internal users or freelancers. Here again, having a well-organized account with defined user profiles will take advantage of some of Smartcat's most powerful automation features.

Task assignment can start from the workspace or more frequently from the project page since this is where the user will land upon completion of the project creation. 

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On either page, clicking on the Assign button will open the Task Assignment page. It is also possible to assign task at the document level by clicking on the Assign button of the document toolbar:

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In either case, the Task Assignment page will be displayed:

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The page will display the assignment box for all the languages and documents that you have selected. The page also displays a different tab for all the workflow stages as assignees have to be selected separately.

Note: The page displays the project deadline but it is possible to select separate deadlines for each stage.

Smartcat now offers 2 options to assign tasks — a manual process and an automatic one. The manual process is started by clicking on the +Add Assignee button. This will open a drop-down list where the project manager can select candidates for the task:

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The list is populated first by LSPs that have been added as vendors to the account and then by translators that are in My Team. Translators are sorted with the ones offering the service to be assigned at the top followed by translators who don't offer this service or where the services have not been defined. The list also displays the word rate and indicates if a translator is an in-house translator (mceclip2.png) or a marketplace freelancer (mceclip5.png ).

If the project manager doesn't find anyone already part of My Team to match the stage requirement, he/she has the option to either invite someone else to the team with the Invite to My Team option or search for a freelancer in the Smartcat marketplace using the Find freelancers option. (see below)

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The project manager can select as many candidates as he wants from the list. If he/she decides to work with an individual freelancer (see the screenshot above), every person selected will receive an email and will have the option to Accept or Decline being part of the project. If multiple freelancers are selected for a document, it is possible to split the document between them. Once all the freelancers have been selected, click on the Spit document option. The next screens will let you assign portions of the document to the freelancers:

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Clicking on the Select Segments and Assign option will let you choose which portion of the document to assign to each user:

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The process is repeated for each freelancer until the entire document is assigned.

If no one listed in My Team is available or matches the language and service requirements, the project manager has two options - invite a known freelancer to the team or search in the marketplace. The two options are listed at the bottom of the drop-down list that opens when the + Add Assignee option is selected:

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By clicking on Invite to My Team, the project manager will be able to add the email address of a freelancer that will then be added to the My Team section. The invitation process is similar to the one used to add members to My Team from that page. The freelancer will then appear in the drop-down list once all his information has been completed.

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Selecting the Find freelancers option will open the corresponding tab in the Team section. Smartcat will automatically filter freelancers that match the language and service required for the task. 

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The project manager can use the marketplace filters to refine the list of candidates. Once he has found freelancers who match the requirements, the PM simply selects the linguist by clicking on the Select option of the profile. Before confirming the selection, the PM has two different options for the assignment:

  • The Bicycle option. Translators will be contacted and will verify their availability or interest.
  • The Rocket option. Translators are contacted and the first one to accept the job is assigned to the task. This option is very practical when dealing with urgent projects where the PM does not have time to wait for answers from multiple freelancers. Note: This process should be used with care as freelancers might stop responding to jobs if they are bombarded with assignments on a regular basis with little chance of getting that actual job if too many freelancers are contacted.

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With the manual option, the Assign task page will reflect that fact that some freelancers were contacted and that invitations are pending:

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Once some freelancers have responded positively, the project manager can then confirm to whom he wants to assign the task by clicking on confirm assignment:

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At any time, the project manager can change assignments by removing freelancers from the project and assigning new linguists.

Automatic assignment — Assign to team

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Smartcat has also implemented a new more automated process to assign tasks. The Assign to team button is a shortcut to the rocket option explained above. When the project manager selects this option, Smartcat will search in the My Team section of the account for linguists that match the language and service requirement and assign them automatically to the task with the first linguist who responds getting the job. This feature is extremely powerful as every task can be assigned automatically, saving hours of work for the project manager.

By clicking on the settings wheel at the right end of the Assign to team button, the project manager can refine the search in the My Team section:

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If the customer name was added in team member profiles, Smartcat will use that information to keep the same linguists on that customer's project. It is very important to maintain consistency across translation projects. Smartcat can also use the freelancer service description to pick linguists with the proper specialty.

Working with other LSPs

Smartcat now makes it possible to assign individual tasks to LSP vendors associated with the account. When the project manager clicks on the + Add Assignee button, vendors will be listed at the top. The PM can select to assign one of the tasks to the other LSP. Smartcat allows the PM to mix the assignments like for example to assign the translation to an LSP and the editing to a freelancer. Once a task has been assigned to an LSP, the project will appear in their account and they will be able to assign their own freelancers to the task. Until the LSP is done with the tasks, the original PM cannot assign part of the task to another vendor or linguist.

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It is, of course, possible to revoke the assignment at any time.

To summarize, Smartcat is very flexible on how tasks are assigned and offers many options, some that require very little interaction from the project managers. It is now possible to split tasks between freelancers and LSPs to give the PM the flexibility needed to deal with different types of projects.