Last month I attended a workshop for Grant Managers. It covered a wide range of topics ranging from writing a sponsorship proposal and grant administration to how to effectively manage funded projects with grant application software. One observation I came away with is that grant management professionals are being required to provide increasingly more documentation concerning the distribution of project funds and tracking progress against the initial sponsorship proposal or charter. I heard that the administrative tasks involved with gathering data, creating reports, holding status meetings, plus all other tasks has been increasing along with the ever higher need to communicate with colleagues, contractors, staff, funding agencies, and facilities managers.
My take-away was that more people needed clearly communicated information about status and the progress of funded projects. I noticed in the workshop that the grant management process, including project reviews, are very often managed with Excel worksheets and similarly communicated as Excel tables in PowerPoint. In discussing this at one of the break-out sessions, I learned that, although PowerPoint was frequently used, creating a grant management timeline slide for a project presentation is tough to do, even for those who had strong PowerPoint skills.
This is an area in which Office Timeline could help. It is a free timeline maker embedded into Microsoft PowerPoint (2007, 2010, and 2013), so using it is intuitive and easy. If you need to prepare the grant, compose a sponsorship proposal, or manage research projects, you can leverage Office Timeline to create visual, project timelines that will drive the narrative.
Any grant management professional needing to effectively communicate plans or funding status can use Office Timeline to quickly create and share slides that are easy for funding agencies and project teams to understand. It starts with a simple wizard, where a user chooses a template and Office Timeline guides them through the entire process, making the design and creation of project slides a quick and intuitive process. I have captured the process in a series of screenshots below and would be interested in your experience with it.
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Steps for making a timeline
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Simplifying Gantts for important presentations
Cutting and pasting your grant schedule into PowerPoint
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