This practice is mostly applicable in Collaborative translation contexts where contributors are volunteers. But it can also be used to good effect when (Agile Translation Teamware)) is used with a team of professional translators.
Recruiting, retaining and motivating good contributors is one of the most challenging issues in building a vibrant Collaborative translation community, especially in situations where they are not remunerated for their work.
People tend to be happier and more motivated when they are working on things that they feel is important. Therefore, instead of assigning work to members of your community, allow them to choose work that the like and feel is important.
Another advantage of that approach is that people naturally self select tasks for which they are most qualified. This in turn may have a positive impact on their productivity and the quality of their output.
Even in the context of a team of paid professionals collaborating with Agile Translation Teamware, it may be advantageous to let members of the team choose which part of the project they want to work on, instead of having tasks assigned from the top by a project manager.
Links to related patterns
- While most volunteer contributors will prefer to exercise Task Self Selection, they may also want to have some form of "soft" guidance as to what content is most important to the community. In that sense, Task Self Selection should be complemented with other practices like Campaign and Hint at Content Priority.
- Pretty much all volunteer-based Collaborative translation initiatives rely heavily on this pattern.