I was just sifting through some of Microsoft’s

business-focused add-ins available in its Downloads

Center. Not a bad place to poke around from time to time. What caught my

eye today is this little Project-to-PowerPoint add-in (official unwieldy name: The


Report Presentation Add-in for Microsoft Office Project 2003

Once you install the add-in, you can open a project and

click Create Report Presentation on the Project Report Presentation toolbar.

Specify the tasks and fields you want to include and the tool will build a new

presentation with a tasks summary table that shows the status of project tasks

(e.g., Start, Finish, % Complete). You can get about eight tasks on a slide, but

if you need to include more, the tool will create an additional slide and

summary table to accommodate them. Along with the task summary, the

presentation consists of slides for the title, introduction, agenda, overview,

outstanding risks and issues, budget, schedule and scope, acceptance review,

and next steps.

If you spend a lot of time reporting on project issues,

conducting meetings to communicate project objectives or changes with

stakeholders, and/or debriefing management and staff on project status and

what’s needed for successful completion, you should definitely check out this unassuming

little tool. As far as I can tell, it does exactly what it’s designed to do, offering

the potential for saving you tons of legwork.

The presentation design could be improved — there’s

a sort of anemic putty-colored background, along with those dopey, ghosted-out

clip art effects and stylized geometric distractions. But that’s a small

concern. If you don’t like the looks of the presentation, just go to Format |

Slide Design and choose something you like better.