Over ten years ago, we realized that in order to meet increasing customer demand, translation services needed to evolve from traditional, full-time translators to a more scalable, flexible delivery model that tapped the requisite translation “talent” on an as-needed basis. Thus, we transformed our internal employee base of specialized translators and established a virtual workforce, allowing each professional to work remotely via the cloud to complete tasks matching their skill set. Essentially, Lionbridge started crowdsourcing before the term “crowdsourcing” was coined by Jeff Howe in Wired circa 2006.
From there, clients requested additional services be provided via this model, paving the way to establish our present day portfolio of Business Process Crowdsourcing solutions powered by a crowd of 100,000 highly-educated professionals working for us around the globe. Now, crowdsourcing is as popular as ever – but businesses still have many unanswered questions, especially when it comes to achieving repeatable, high quality results. To address this, we recently hosted a Google Hangout titled “Producing Quality via the Crowd.” It was led by Lionbridge BPC practice manager Dori Albert and moderated by Anton Root, senior editor at Crowdsourcing.org.
In case you couldn’t “Hangout” with us, here are some key takeaways on how we’ve managed to produce quality results via our crowd that businesses can apply to their own crowdsourcing projects:
The first step to executing a crowd project is process re-engineering. Designing a workflow for the crowd is hard work – and a big reason why many projects fail. In order to produce an effective crowd-based workflow, it is critical to first look at the entire process then break it down into tasks that work well within a crowd setting. We refer to this as “process re-engineering,” which takes more time and governance compared to traditional FTE models, but also yields higher quality results. Once created, we can then match the job requirements to specific skill sets on our “bench.”
Crowd recruitment is extremely critical. We spend a significant amount of time sourcing and selecting the right crowd for a project. This includes reviewing each worker profile in great detail, highlighting qualifications beneficial to certain tasks. From there, crowd workers are required to complete tests created specifically for each project to ensure they possess the skills needed to do the job correctly from the start. This screening process is very intensive, and must be completed to ensure accuracy throughout projects.
Your crowd needs clear and concise self-guided training tools. Clear, concise, self-guided training tools drive higher quality. These materials should also answer any question put forth by a member of the crowd, especially when working remotely. When professionals first join the virtual workforce, it takes some adjustment to realize you can’t simply hover over to a neighboring colleague and ask a question. However, ambiguity shouldn’t be a problem for a crowd properly supported with an assortment of online tools right at their fingertips. At Lionbridge, we equip our workers with self-training manuals, online webinars, FAQ sheets and the ability to collaborate with our project teams as needed. Combine this with our continuous quality monitoring during projects, and the end result is typically what the client envisioned.
To hear more about these three topics, plus other concerns and applications that benefit from Business Process Crowdsourcing, we encourage you to check out this recording of the Google Hangout by clicking on the YouTube video below or following this link.
Have a question you didn’t get to ask during the webcast, or suggestion on a future topic? Let us know in the Comments section below.