How to Make Professional Consulting Timelines in PowerPoint

In management consulting good communication is critical for building strong client relationships that lead to more business. Successful projects start with a clearly communicated timeline that summarizes the target dates for key deliverables. The post below shows how to easily build and update these project timeline slides with a free PowerPoint add-in.

timeline project consulting group

Building professional looking project timelines in PowerPoint has been a painful, time-consuming task.  Additionally when a schedule slips or there is a change (as there often are in consulting) these project slides needs to be re-built.  Timeline and Gantt charts templates are helpful however they are static and become difficult to update or change.  Project management tools, like Microsoft Project, handle schedule changes with ease, they produce overly complex Gantt charts which are not compatible with PowerPoint or suitable for presentations to clients and business decision makers.   Office Timeline solves this problem.

Office Timeline is a free project presentation tool for PowerPoint 2007, 2010 and 2013.  It was created to make it simple to design, build and maintain professional project review and status slides for customers and management.  It builds these timeline slides natively in PowerPoint so they are easy to communicate and share with project stakeholders, who can also easily distribute your project plans to their teams and peers.  This helps clearly set expectations and drive transparency.

FPPT.com has teamed with Office Timeline to help distinguish your work with professional looking project slides that stand to clients and managers.  You can download the free Office Timeline PowerPoint plug in from http://fppt.com/officetimeline.  Additionally, for a limited time, you can get a 10% discount on Office Timeline Plus when you use the promotion code.  Find out more here.

How to Make a Professional Consulting Timeline using Office Timeline Project Tool

Here is a quick look at how it works. Download and install Office Timeline from http://fppt.com/officetimeline.  Once installed it will add an Office Timeline tab (see image below) to your PowerPoint ribbon. Click New to launch the Office Timeline wizard which will guide you through a couple easy set-up and design steps.

timeline toolbar

Select the type of slide you want to build from several style types then click the Next arrow to begin entering your project data and customizing.  In the premium version, Office Timeline Plus, you get access to a pack of pre-built templates which are designed for specific project scenarios.

new timeline example

Enter the key Milestones and Tasks of your projects and set their dates or durations.  In the Office Timeline Plus edition you can paste schedules from excel and drag and drop to resort their order.  Make some optional style choices such as the color and shape for each item.  When you have finished click the Next arrow to choose customizations for your slide.

edit timeline in consulting project

Make Stylistic and design choices for how you want Milestones, Tasks, and Timeband, and Scaling to appear, then click the green Check to build your slide.

timeline styles

You are done and now have a professional looking project slide that will stand out in proposals, kick-off meetings, team updates, project reviews, steering committee meetings and any client or executive presentations. At any time, you can make changes to the slide by simply clicking on the Milestone, Task or Style buttons on the ribbon. This will re-access these wizards and you can quickly update your data or change your design choices. Office Timeline will instantly rebuild your slide with those changes.

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