Best Practices for Building a Global Center of Excellence


This Monolingual, World-Loving Localization Director Has a Lot to Tell You About Building a Center of Excellence


This is not the most common reaction to a localization panel or speaker. It is, however, your likely reaction to Episode 5 of All Things Global with Nicole Kittle Broe.

It’s refreshing because Nicole speaks honestly, declaratively, and empathetically about her path, what she builds, and how she goes about building it. That there’s something here for both highly experienced and less experienced practitioners – note the engagement of the guest audience – adds to the greater appeal. 

Currently, the Director of Localization at Roku, Nicole, draws on her wide-ranging involvement (Paramount, Riot Games, Netflix, Blizzard, Snap) in content and localization to add additional flavor and gravitas. Even if you don’t agree with the nuance of some of her discussion points, you’ll come away with a clear understanding of how she thinks and how she goes about her job. There’s no question that the conversation will spur you to think differently about certain aspects of your own role. Interesting thinkers have that effect.

Under a general framework of “Building a Localization Center of Excellence”, the conversation goes beyond traditional thinking. Some of the less traditional topics include:

  • What to ask during your interview: Nicole explains how she approaches a new company to discover whether they’re truly ready for localization.


  • Celebrating where you are: She talks to the importance of the CSA Localization Maturity Model and how to best leverage it to move the entire company forward.


  • Techniques to bring older ways of thinking (and stale practices) into a modern, scalable world: Nicole also discusses early self-preservation tricks to employ before the organization grows larger.
  • Creative ideas to improve the self-confidence and image of a localization team: “Producers sit at the table.”


  • “Corporate Chess Moves”: Nicole discusses the key features and rationale of moving a localization team under the department that’s the best fit…and the need for flexibility in this thinking as time goes on.

Data, corporate alignment, budgets, etc. – the normal aspects of building out a team – are also part of the discussion. And when Nicole isn’t sure about or happy with her answer, she lets you know. As I said, refreshing.