Tag Archives: Slide library

6 tips to manage a large number of PowerPoint presentations and slides

If your organization works in PowerPoint, you’ve likely accumulated hundreds or thousands of PowerPoint presentations. As presentations typically start with existing content, efficiently searching your repository to find specific slides can drive significant productivity gains.

Here are 6 tips to manually manage your repository or slide library:

  • Assign a shared location to store your presentations: Often presentations are stored across server locations and personal computers. Set a shared and secure location where your team can store their presentation. Check to ensure all members can seamlessly access the location and that your team is actively using it. This will consolidate all your content and prevent users from having to unnecessarily email presentations to each other.
  • Define a file naming convention: Setting a standard file naming convention will allow users to quickly sort through presentations. Some best practices for file names include:
    • Start file names with a date that starts with the year. For example: 20160501 Strategy Review. This ensures that files will allows appear in chronological older. If two versions are created on the same date indicate a version number: 20150501-02 Strategy Review. Note that ‘02’ was used instead of ‘2’ to allows double digit versions.
    • For large teams include the initials of the person who created the presentation: 20160501 Strategy Review KS.
  • Build a folder structure that reflects the business: If you support numerous business units in a large company, create folders for each business. Or if your projects are more functional use the project type as the folder names.
  • Create a best hits presentation: If you have a set of slides that are used on a regular basis, collate them into one presentation. This can include templates, visual elements, charts, and even important pieces of text.
  • Assign somebody to continually manage the repository: For manual repositories, you can’t just ‘set it and forget it’. Consistently clean and keep your library up-to-date to maximize its benefits. Give your library manager the authority to ensure team members are compliant with the established rules.
  • Manage versions: During the course of a project, several iterations for a presentation maybe created. Ensure that at the end of the project the final version is clearly marked and that older versions are saved in a related but separate folder.

 

How slide libraries helped investment banks build better proposals more efficiently

Slide libraries used by investment banks

Over the last few months we’ve worked with several boutique investment banks that were looking for better ways to manage their critical PowerPoint collateral. Specifically, they wanted a way to efficiently build proposals that, while still customized to the specific client or project, could leverage their prior work.

Investment banks compose several types of proposals, all of which have a combination of common elements and client- or project-specific pieces. For example, prior transactions, market overview, and regulations would typically be standard, while company financials, projections, and capabilities are tailored to the client and contain only certain reusable components. As such, investment banks should be able to efficiently find relevant content from prior proposals and either reuse or adapt it based on client requirements.

Prior to using a slide library solution, investment banks were relying on a manual approach that was both time consuming and prone to errors. First, the proposal author would dig through a shared hard drive to find relevant presentations and then flip through them to find the key slides that he/she wanted. If a slide was missing or seemed old, the author would have to email colleagues and describe the slide needed. At times, slides would be recreated if colleagues took too long to respond or if content couldn’t be found. For example, if the proposal author found a market overview slide from 2013 but couldn’t find the latest version, they may re-do the analysis and update it for 2016. Beyond slides, the process would generally be repeated for visuals like company logos, industry diagrams, and charts. This process was inefficient and often led to poor output quality when out-of-date content was used, pieces were missing, and slides were hastily assembled.

After implementing a slide management or library solution, these firms were able to drastically improve efficiency and the quality of their proposals. First, they were able to easily build a secure shared repository of PowerPoint content where they could control exactly who within the firm had access to each specific slide. Then when putting a proposal together, authors could search the repository, get slide image previews, and quickly select the slides they needed. If they had a question about a slide, they could use the slide library solution to check who last uploaded the slide and instantly email them to ask any questions. Further, the slide library could be extended to visuals, allowing authors to find the very specific pieces of content they needed. Slide libraries also allowed authors to check their proposal to verify they had the latest content. And so, if that market overview slide was updated by a colleague since the author last downloaded it, he/she could be notified before sharing the proposal with others.

As exemplified by the implementation of a content management solution by the investment banking industry, a structured approach to managing PowerPoint content can yield significant gains.  As your knowledge repository grows and/or if you have employee turnover, consider using a slide library so that you have the content you need at your fingertips.

 

5 slide library management best practices

As enterprises become more data driven, knowledge management has become a competitive differentiator. Some firms have even created knowledge management groups including a Chief Knowledge Officer role. As knowledge is often distilled into PowerPoint presentations, a clear slide management solution is required to maximize the value of product summaries, financial analysis, workflow outlines or even templates and graphics. As you think through your slide management solution, here’s a set of 5 best practices you should consider:

  1. Easy access to slides is imperative – If retrieving slides takes too many clicks or too long your team just won’t do it. As a result, they’ll be recreating slides, using old slides, and losing productivity. Consider a solution that integrates with PowerPoint so users don’t have to open an Internet browser just to find slides.
  2. Manage slide updates – Over time slides evolve as the messaging becomes more refined or data is updated. As a result, users need access to the latest material without having to manually search and retrieve each slide. Effective slide management solutions need to be able to automatically find and retrieve slide updates. Ideally, it should warn users if they’ve made local edits to the original slide allowing them to transfer the edits to updated slide if needed.
  3. Control who exactly has access to each slide – While companies are typically focused on protecting their content from outside threats, they should equally consider who within the company needs access. Otherwise, even harmless mistakes can lead to inaccurate knowledge sharing or content loss. Your slide management solution should allow you to set detailed access rights allowing some users full access, some just download access, and others with no access at all.
  4. Metadata helps but your search engine needs to be powerful – While it is important to try and accurately catalog all your slides this is not always feasible. As deadlines hit, users will inevitably not add strong metadata. As such, your slide management solution needs a powerful search engine capable of full-text search and incorporating different elements including the slide title and author.
  5. Continuously measure usage – What slides are used by your teams most often? Which users are actively using the slide library solution? Tracking usage helps identify opportunities for optimizing content and helps find users that are likely not using compliant slides. It also helps justify they ROI of the slide library solution itself.