Setting up for Progress Tracking

Organisations that want to track the progress of their various translation projects may now do so through Paratext. This is possible through the use of the project plan, and assigning tasks to team members. As tasks are completed, the progress is recorded. This data can be accessed by people in the organisation with the appropriate roles.

However, the tracking will only work with the proper set up and planning. The following features must be in place before progress can be tracked successfully.

Set the scope

First, the team has to set the scope of their project. Which books will they translate? This new feature was added for the purpose of tracking progress.  If a New Testament is the goal, then only those books are selected for the scope.  All projects must have the correct scope set in their Project Properties and Settings.

Apply a plan

Next, Paratext comes with a standard set of boilerplate project plans from SIL, UBS, and Seed Co. The project administrator must select and apply one to the project. We recommend that projects choose the plan provided by their organisation or a locally approved variant. All projects must have a project plan applied.

Customise the plan

The boilerplate plan will not be accurate for any given team, since each team has their own unique set of tasks.  We recommend that teams preserve the main stages that have been established by their organisation. Within those stages they are free to customise the specific tasks for their project.  All projects must customise the project plan for their situation.

Set a target completion date

While Paratext is designed to show progress, it can’t interpret that process unless the team actually sets a target completion date. Without a target date, the project members or observers won’t be able to interpret the status of the current rate of progress. Paratext can provide a helpful chart that shows whether the team is ahead behind schedule by comparing their current rate of progress with the anticipated rate of progress to reach their goal.  All projects must set a target completion date in the Paratext registry.

Mark progress

Now, a blue button will appear in the top right corner of the project window, allowing administrators to assign tasks to translators, and allowing translators to see their list of tasks.  When a task is completed, the translator must mark the task as complete. Progress is noted in the system when tasks are marked as complete. All projects must actively use the Assignments and Progress window to mark their progress.

Now we’re tracking!

Having done all of the above, we can now track project progress.  The mechanism to do this is a bit rudimentary for the moment, but working.  The first thing to note is that there are two ways to view progress: Through the progress website, or through the Paratext progress API — a way to extract the progress data and view it in whatever format we want to, using our own tools and interface.

This site has been set up with the goal of allowing an organisation to review and approve the recorded progress by a team, acting as a check and balance before that progress gets recorded on the website. Not all organisations will do this as part of their workflow, but for now, it allows people who are granted the role of Progress Reviewer to see the reported progress of projects today.

Paratext progress API

Paratext organisations will be able to set up their own systems to report on the progress data accessed through the Paratext progress API. This is the intended way for organisations to view and interpret their progress data.