Setting your target goal

Paratext 8 has a built-in system for tracking your translation team’s progress that can give an estimate of how much time it will take to accomplish your project’s goal.  This can be useful for the team during yearly planning sessions when tasks are assigned to various team members. It can also allow administrators to track their team’s progress and be notified of potential issues long before the next planning and review session.  But if you are going to take advantage of these features, you need to do a bit of configuring.

The first step, of course, is to select a project plan and customize it for your team.  You can learn how to do this by viewing this set of 8 short videos on how to set up and administer the project plan.

Once you have the project plan in place and are using it, you can start to benefit from the progress charts in Paratext 8. These charts are found on the Paratext menu at Projects -> Project Charts… They provide a detailed overview of where the project is currently at using three different views: By Book, By Book and Stage, and Forecast Line Chart.  The last of these needs you to set an expected completion date in the Paratext Registry so that it can contrast your current rate of progress against the target. If no date has been set, Paratext will show this warning at the top of the chart:

To set the target date, you must go to Project Properties and Settings on the Project menu.  You will see an option to Manage registration…

Clicking it takes you to the Paratext registry where you will have to log in with the email address and password you used to register for Paratext.  On that page you will see a place to put the start and expected finish dates for the project.

Once these have been added, Paratext can begin to plot the project’s progress on a trajectory toward the completion date.  In the example below, the black line shows progress to date and the dotted line shows the project’s current trajectory towards completion. When the line falls in the green zone, it shows that progress is going ahead of schedule. But when the line falls in the pink zone, it means that progress is falling behind.

In the example above, you can see that the project is expected to finish in September of 2018 instead of the target date of January 2018.  It may be that this team needs to readjust their expectations for the project completion date, but it also may be that they need to start striving harder to reach that goal.  In either case, it is helpful to have a visual of the team’s progress.

The remaining two charts give more detail.  The following examples are from a sample project with only five books in the project scope.

Progress Chart: By Book

The book chart gives a quick look at the overall progress for each book.  The progress is calculated based on the number of tasks for each book and the effort levels (verses per day) of each task. The effort levels can be adjusted in the project plan to more accurately match your team’s speed.

Progress Chart: By Book and Stage

Similar to the Book chart, this chart shows what stage each book is at and the level of progress for each stage. The six stages shown here are part of the SIL plan, but your project’s plan may be different.

Give the project plan a try! You’ll benefit by being guided through the various translation tasks, and will also to have a better way to measure your team’s progress.