Updated on 15 May 2020
In clinical trials and Pharmaceutical research, high-level timelines and roadmaps that look and feel professional are considered instrumental. Why? The short answer is that research teams are often required to present – and explain – their progress and findings to audiences with varying degrees of scientific knowledge.
These audiences consist of key stakeholders who make effective and time-sensitive decisions, so the way complex data is delivered and received can have a major impact on the future of the project. It goes without saying that integrating project timelines, Gantt charts and swimlane diagrams into a PowerPoint slide will considerably streamline any presentation.
This post aims to show you how quick and easy it is to build a clinical trial or Pharmaceutical research timeline using the Office Timeline free PowerPoint add-in. You will also see just how customizable these visuals are, and how you can update plans with just a couple of clicks.
Creating a Pharmaceutical timeline has always been painful
Historically speaking, creating timelines and Gantt charts that depict the discovery process and clinical trials has always represented a pain point in the Pharmaceutical industry. There are a number of applications designed specifically for project management in this field.
However, the excessively complex diagrams they generate make them unsuitable, particularly when it comes to creating the high-level overviews required in board meetings with management or agency execs. Not to mention the learning curve that rivals a degree in biochemistry!
Alternatives exist, of course, in the form of Microsoft Project or Excel, which you might already be using for collating some research and patient info. Applications in this category do include some features for rendering graphical representations of data.
Unfortunately, they end up being extremely time consuming due to limited automation and lack of templates designed exclusively for Pharmaceutical research roadmaps or clinical trial timelines. Complications increase tenfold whenever you need to update plans, to the point where it’s often easier to rebuild the timeline from scratch.
And, since you’ll probably want to use PowerPoint presentations to showcase your progress in meetings with your stakeholders, the lack of integrations is yet another spanner in the works. In short, the conventional options just aren’t great for presenting, sharing and collaborating on a timeline that’s ultimately designed to bridge the gap between researchers, managers and sponsors.
A smart PowerPoint add-in can solve these problems
What makes the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in different? It’s the ability to aptly address all of the aforementioned issues that make the existing options painful, perhaps even more so for the Pharma industry.
Lightweight yet robust, sporting a sleek and intuitive interface, the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in has everything you need to easily create clinical trial roadmaps and swimlane diagrams of drug research as native .PPTX slides. Not only that, but the slides can be edited and shared within minutes, facilitating communication and collaboration between all the teams involved. Let’s find out more.
How to use Office Timeline to build impressive Pharmaceutical timeline slides
Step 1: Get the add-in
Before you can enjoy the virtually limitless customization options and numerous pre-built templates, you’ll first need to have Office Timeline installed on your machine. You can download the trial version of the add-in from our website. After completing the installation, a new tab will appear in your PowerPoint menu (shown below). Congratulations, you’re on your way!
Step 2: Choose a template
The best place to start creating a timeline or Gantt chart are the built-in templates and styles created by our professional design team to accommodate a wide array of scenarios.
But that’s just the beginning. You can also find additional templates – including Pharma templates – in our free Gantt chart and timeline templates gallery or in this blog post. These templates are all completely free, easy to download and we’re constantly working to expand the list so check back regularly to see what’s new.
|Related post: 3 Best Free Templates for Pharmaceutical Timelines|
Step 3: Edit the data
Once you decide on a template, it’s incredibly easy and intuitive to modify the default milestones or tasks or delete them and add your own. Check out how quickly you can update a milestone name, shape, color and even its date directly from Edit Data menu:
If your patient or research data is already available in another application, you’ll be happy to know that the Office Timeline add-in allows you to import it directly, so you won’t have to type it in again. We support integrations with Excel, Microsoft Project, Smartsheet and Wrike:
Step 4: Style and design features
Visuals like the color theme used, the shape of the elements and their contrast against the backdrop play a major role in what you’ll highlight during the presentation and what you’d like to emphasize. The templates are a great place to start, but every single element of the graph can be customized separately as well.
You can radically alter the default design of the timeband, milestones, tasks or swimlanes with just a couple of clicks, to bring in your own branding and breathe life into previously sterile sets of data:
Step 5: Share and collaborate
We cannot stress enough how vital communication and collaboration is in the Pharmaceutical industry, which is why the Office Timeline add-in integrates a feature for sharing your work via different channels.
Emailing your roadmaps to team members and stakeholders as an image, PowerPoint slide, or even the entire .PPTX file is simple and can be done directly from the add-in’s interface. Check it out:
To sum up
In terms of breaking down complex Pharmaceutical research and clinical trial data, the Office Timeline add-in is just what the doctor prescribed. Creating roadmaps and swimlane diagrams from scratch is a breeze, thanks to its clear interface and comprehensive list of dedicated templates.
With Office Timeline, PowerPoint becomes a one-size-fits-all powerhouse of designing, updating, presenting and sharing timelines, all without the downside of a prohibitive learning curve. Download the 14-day trial to get started, after which you can continue to use the free version or take the next step with the extra features of the Pro Edition to wow your stakeholders and transform boardroom meetings into your favorite part of the day.
- Blog post: 3 Best Free Templates for Pharmaceutical Timelines
- Video: Edit your timeline easily with drag & drop
- Support center: Visit our knowledge base to find answers to common questions