Wordbee Chat: What is the new e-learning and certification program all about?
Robert Rogge: Welcome to our latest Wordbee #locchat. Today we’ve got a special guest on, Andre Hemker from Wordcraft International. Andre is the founder of Wordcraft, Wordbee customer, and is now a big part of the Wordbee ecosystem as our official e-learning and certification partner, which we will be focusing on today.
Welcome to the Wordbee Chat, Andre!
Andre Hemker: Hey Robert! Happy to be on your show. 😛
Robert Rogge: It’s your show today, Andre! OK - so let’s get started. Why don’t you tell us the story behind the e-learning and certification program. How did you first get the idea, and why did it resonate with you?
Andre Hemker: We are first and foremost an LSP that is very technology driven. All tech-driven LSPs will certainly know and understand that workforce-skills are the brakes on the technology train.
From observing our own translators, as well as external translators, CAT tools are too often used as glorified spreadsheets and feature sets don’t get the usage they deserve. Improving that usage is needed to improve efficiency.
Very early in the game, I realized that training people on the available tools is one of the biggest challenges of the entire industry. We tried working with universities in this regard with underwhelming results. So we decided that we want to develop highly specialized, pedagogically planned and repeatable training to enable CAT-tool users to reliably train their workforce on their environment of choice. Ours is Wordbee.
Robert Rogge: Right. I personally find the situation of localization technology to be really interesting compared to your normal software product. Usually, you would just train the client to use the software and that would be it. But in loc, you have hundreds or thousands of freelance suppliers who really should be trained on the product too.
I’ve seen the courses and was really impressed. The audio-visual skills at Wordcraft are plain to see! So what makes this e-learning and certification program great?
Andre Hemker: We wanted to create one of the best training tracks in the business. So we planned every course before it was recorded, developed techniques to later present the exact same course in different languages at a later stage, including the language of the Wordbee GUI, scripted every episode carefully, accounted for time needed by the learner to follow along in his own Wordbee Translator and used the same recording equipment that we normally use for high-end productions.
However, this is just the quality side of things. We also wanted to include training metrics, gamification elements, quizzes, exams and meaningful certification.
We wanted the certification to be a guarantee for being up there with the very best Wordbee users after attaining it. We also want to offer the entire training track at an affordable price and not take people to the cleaners by chopping everything up in dozens of little courses. The Wordbee training track is an “all there is to know” course for the specific user group.
Robert Rogge: That’s so cool. Actually, when I was doing the courses, I found myself doing more courses than I needed because it was fun. The gamification totally works. Not only are these courses fantastic, they may very well be the best in the business!
So training and certification is valuable. I think we can all agree on that. But I do think that sometimes, the importance of education in general is underestimated. So what are some of the benefits to Wordbee clients who want their translator base to get certified?
Andre Hemker: The benefit it quite simple. You are not only certain that your translators have the ability to make the most out the tools given to them, but you also have the metrics for it as well as written proof in terms of official certification. When bringing in new people, you can present the additions to your workforce with a clear training track that doesn’t cost you any internal resources and guarantees the desired result. Since the single units can be repeated as often as you like, the training track automatically adjusts to individual learning pace and can also serve as a reference to come back to later.
Robert Rogge: Right. One of the first things that struck me was that training your translators (as a Wordbee client) is exactly the sort of hidden cost that’s probably bigger than you’d expect. But even so, I think one of the keys here is, as you say, the desired result. Because when your translators misuse or misunderstand how you want them to use Wordbee when they login, that’s also going to create pain points. Do you think that ultimately, running a certified supplier database is going to improve the quality the client outputs as well? Will it filter into the overall results?
Andre Hemker: I think it will, because it frees time and nerves for the more important tasks. Cat-Tool feature-sets constantly get upgrades in terms of adding functionality that is geared towards more speed, quicker searches, on the fly QA, etc. Tasks that end up with the project managers or other internal staff if not executed by the translators. Not having the same command over the used software is a cause for stress and hard work which has an adverse effect on quality. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so our goal is making all chain links equally strong.
Robert Rogge: That’s a great way of putting it. I kind of wonder if implementing new processes, like let’s say making QA mandatory, or asking the translators to make greater usage of QA, doesn’t get put off sometimes due to the difficulties in training. And you’d like to think that some of that gets done internally, but I bet there are plenty of cases where time/money constraints mean that a translation is shipped without that when, if the translator was trained, it could have easily been done at the time of translation.
What about prevention of misuse or translator support requests / questions? I can only assume that this is going to save companies alot of time dealing with those problems too.
Andre Hemker: This is another point. We do get quite a few “how to” questions. However, less than I would like. Let me explain what I mean by that. The questions we get revolve to 90% around the accepting and starting the job phase. We know that questions about the editor arise, but translators are often too polite or to humble to ask about the editor. In other words, it’s not getting used in the way we would like. We thought hard about the ideal way to address these issues once and for all and even achieve more than we could with a dedicated help-desk. If you get told everything there is to know about something, you don’t have to come up with basic questions. If you do come up with a question, this question will be a lot more informed. You will not hesitate to ask a good question, because you don’t feel like you bothered anyone with dozens of not so good questions before. Our training track is all about empowering translators. project managers, admins, etc. and a key ingredient of empowerment is giving people the security and self-confidence to talk to experts on an equal level.
Robert Rogge: That’s an incredible point. I get this feeling that translators are sometimes logging into Wordbee and then really just focusing on the words they have to translate, because maybe all the other stuff in there is frightening to them somehow.
Andre Hemker: That’s only because rarely someone has the time to sit with them for hours to explain everything in detail. That would be rather impractical, right?
Robert Rogge: Every day, something like 12,000 translators login to Wordbee to work for their clients. So imagine sitting down with all of them! Impossible!
Andre Hemker: We tried to create “the perfect training lesson” and make it infinitely repeatable. We think of it as a training fire-and-forget-weapon.
Robert Rogge: Alright - so let’s wrap this up here. I think we’ve covered most of the benefits for Wordbee clients and translators. Clearly it makes sense. What’s the one huge most important amazing thing you’d like Wordbee clients to consider when looking at e-learning and certification packages?
Andre Hemker: The main point is, that you’ve spent a considerable amount of money on finding, attaining and implementing the best technology on the market. It’s an investment that we make to better our business, make our efforts more effective and improve the quality. Let’s not forget to show the people that work with it all the amazing features and tricks it can do. You wouldn’t buy the fastest race car to win a race and then cheap out on the driver. You won’t win the race if you do. The Wordbee training track for translators contains 5 hours of condensed information, showing and explaining every little detail, hint and trick in over 90 individual videos. New features get implemented into the courses soon after they are released. By certifying your staff, you can be absolutely certain that your people have learned about and understood these features. Available metrics about every course, quiz, and final exam show any possible weak point and you can give support where it is needed. I know we all love features, yet features mean nothing without embedding the know-how on how to use them into your workforce.
Robert Rogge: Yeah, you know we recently completed our customer survey and we do track metrics for customer satisfaction at Wordbee, similar to Net Promoter Score (NPS). As it stands, the Wordbee NPS is really, really, really HIGH. Like, it’s way up there. But that being said, training and certification has been a gap in Wordbee’s offering, and I think I can speak for the company when I say we are so glad that you recognized that gap, stepped in, and became our official partner for these certifications.
So - as it stands, clients who want to get in touch about e-learning and certification can get in touch directly with their Wordbee Account Manager to find out more about how it all works and what’s available.
Thanks Andre! You are the show! 😛
Andre Hemker: Thanks for having me on, Robert!