Consider internationalization issues from the start of the development cycle. [Required]

Internationalization issues should be considered from the start of the development cycle so that problems can be found and fixed before localization starts. The target languages and countries should be included in product requirements documents. Development specifications should discuss the approaches that will be used to handle internationalization.

The development schedule should include a GUI freeze milestone to allow localization to start. [Required]

In order to release localized products at the same time as or shortly after the base English product it is necessary to start localization while product development is still in progress.

If localization is started too early in the development cycle then there could be significant changes to the user interface which will require costly localization updates. On the other hand if localization is started too late then there will not be enough time to complete translation and there will be a lag between the release of the base English product and the localized products.

The development schedule should have a clearly defined point when the user interface design is completed and frozen. At that point localization of the user interface into key target languages can begin. After the freeze any user interface changes should be carefully controlled. If there are changes between the freeze and the product release date then the localization team can use computer assisted translation tools to efficiently update the translations. A small amount of time should be reserved at the end of the development schedule for the translations to be synched up with the final English user interface.

Create and test the translation kit at all key milestones. [Required]

A translation kit should be created and tested at all key development milestones (alpha, beta, GUI freeze, etc.). If translation kit problems are discovered and fixed early in the development cycle it will avoid later reengineering which could negatively impact localization cost, quality, and time to market.

Communicate closely with the localization team. [Required]

The engineering, documentation, certification, and product release teams should communicate closely with the localization team during the course of a project. The localization team should regularly participate in project meetings to make sure that internationalization and localization issues are being addressed.

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