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The Pillars of Centralisation



All good architecture – building, software, or process – must be able to support and sustain the structure for which it has been designed.

The Ancient Greeks used common designs and materials to successfully construct pillars and the buildings they supported. This shared knowledge and commitment to best practices helped them to assemble some of the most impressive and longlasting structures in history. The pillars themselves had common parts, each serving a specific purpose to provide tensile strength, seismic flexibility, and a pleasing aesthetic form.

Many of these structures can still be seen today atop the Acropolis in Athens; a testament to the ingenuity and dedication of the architects and engineers that built them. They followed a common blueprint and their work still stands.

For the pillars of centralisation, the architectural approach is similar and the blueprint looks like this:

First Pillar – Speak the Same Language

For technical communication and localisation professionals, this first pillar may seem extremely counter-intuitive. However, time and experience have shown that this concept is vital to the success of any centralisation effort. From the beginning to the end of any process, the organisation must ‘speak the same language’.

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About the Author

Dan Koenig has worked in technical communications for more years than he’d care to admit. His experience spans the transition from light tables and IBM Selectric typewriters to contemporary computer assisted translation and content management systems. For more than 15 years, Dan designed and managed human and technology-based translation processes and systems for Beckman Coulter, Inc., a global medical device manufacturer. Dan recently joined Argos Multilingual as a Content Strategist, assisting clients with improving their centralised content processes.

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