Project managers face some epic clashes on the enterprise landscape. For example, keeping line managers from recruiting (or just as often, re-recruiting) essential project staff can involve tactical genius that would have impressed Napoleon. And telling some customers that their “simple” change request is out of scope may involve a series of conversations that make tense geopolitical summits seem like birthday parties.
However, there is one enduring skirmish that causes even the most experienced and hardened project managers to brace for impact. No, we’re not talking about spreadsheets; although they certainly qualify. We’re talking about PowerPoint.
Specifically, there are four battles that project managers must fight and win each time PowerPoint is part of their project management communication toolkit:
The Battle for Standardization
In enterprise environments where hundreds or thousands of projects are running at the same time, it’s virtually impossible to establish — let alone enforce — PowerPoint standards.
As a result, different project managers (and other employees) end up using various branding elements and corporate style guides. It’s also common for some people to be using templates that were out-of-date and retired several years ago.
The Battle for Centralization
To avoid the above-noted Battle for Standardization, some enterprises try to centralize their latest (and greatest) PowerPoint templates in a single repository, such as in a folder on a shared server. That’s the good news.
The bad news, though, is that not everyone has access to the repository, or access to the repository is excessively s-l-o-w. As a result, individuals and groups create their own ad hoc template storage solution, which means that it’s no longer centralized. See? We warned you these battles were tough!
The Battle for Efficiency
When it comes to status reporting or any other important project management function, inaccurate PowerPoint slides are not just problematic: they can be ruinous!
However, this is the needless risk that project managers face when they must waste hours and hours of time (which they don’t have) to collect data from disparate sources. What’s more, instead of earning a medal or at least getting a pat on the back, project managers are “rewarded” for their data collection efforts by having to spend even more time manually copying and pasting information into a presentation. We all know that “to whom more is given more is expected,” but this is a ridiculous!
The Battle for Consistency
The Art of War advises that a battle is won or lost before it is fought. Unfortunately, for decades project managers have come out on the losing end of this forecast when they try to achieve consistency between their project management software and PowerPoint. Things don’t look the way they’re supposed to, bullet lists disobedient minds of their own, and we won’t even bring up tables because nobody wants to see a grown project manager start crying.
Achieve a Lasting Peace
However, after decades of struggle and strife, project managers can FINALLY achieve a lasting peace with PowerPoint. Not by eliminating it from the project management communication toolkit, but by calling in the cavalry known as Clarizen’s Slide Publisher.
Clarizen’s Slide Publisher is a powerful, yet easy-to-use wizard-driven app that lives in PowerPoint, and enables project managers — and all other authorized users such as account managers and success teams — to:
- Win the battle of standardization by automatically creating uniform project, sub-project, program and portfolio-centric presentations that combine the enterprise’s corporate branding with data from Clarizen.
- Win the battle of centralization by creating an organized and searchable template library on a singular cloud-based platform, which authorized users can access from any device, and at any time.
- Win the battle of efficiency by inserting placeholder tags into any pre-designed PowerPoint presentation, which are then immediately replaced with real-time Clarizen data after each update.
- Win the battle of consistency by combining standard Clarizen data with custom-designed rich text visuals, such as font elements, bullet lists, numbered lists, tables and hyperlinks, along with images of any project data such as risks, milestones, requests, and more.
See Slide Publisher in Action
Win the Battle Now!
If you’re an existing Clarizen customer, you can turn PowerPoint from an enemy into an ally by downloading Slide Publisher from the Clarizen App Marketplace. It’s free.