Agile Slides

Agile Slides is an approach to creating documentation and training using a slide based tool like PowerPoint.

I gave a talk on this topic at the South Florida Agile Meetup.

While exploring this topic...

  • I wanted something better for on-boarding new team members.
  • I wanted something more effective than live demos.
  • I wanted something easy because I really don’t have time for documentation unless it is effective.

This talk is about exploring some features of PowerPoint that are not so obvious, and thinking about how to apply this tool to be the most effective in what you are trying to communicate.

The Agile Manifesto sparked a movement that served as an alternative way of thinking about how we work.  It is the antithesis of the traditional "waterfall' management approach.  However, does the Agile Manifesto go too far?

When I read the Agile Manifesto, the word "over" tends to get implied with "instead of" for many projects. 

Agile Slides - Agile Manifesto

I don't believe the intent of the Agile Manifesto is to completely ignore the value of something like documentation.  For example, the second value should read as "Working Software with Documentation that provides Measurable Value".

Working Software is best augemented with documentation that truly has value for the team.

Many organizations try throwing everything into a document management system like SharePoint to try to solve the problem.  Then many discover the need for a more curated solution like a Wiki or an off-the-shelve solution, such as Atlassian’s Confluence.  Then some organizations take things to the next level by producing e-Learning content with tools from Adobe Premiere or Techsmith’s Camtasia.

Agile Slides - Agile Manifesto - Working Software

I am also noticing some organizations simply associating more content to work items (or User Stories) in a Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) system like TFS (Azure DevOps).  There are too many choices and directions, in which, most organizations are jaded.

I wanted an Agile approach to Technical Writing that could be easily shared and managed by the team.

Creating content in a Wiki is the trend, however using a tool like PowerPoint is a better solution.

For one tool, the publishing options are pretty amazing.

  • You can export a PPTX as images only, PDF, or a Web Page (Wiki article), whether it is HTML or SVG
  • You can export to Video which then be uploaded to YouTube
  • You can explore the contents of the PPTX file as  .ZIP file, and extract your audio narrations stored as .m4a files, in which those could be combined with another tool to create one mp3 file

Agile Slides - PowerPoint

Therefore, your content that you create within one tool like PowerPoint, could be “Read”, "Listened to" or "Watched".

So far, I have found PowerPoint to be a nice "in-between" content production tool.

Watch for courses, products, and services on this Agile Approach to creating documentation and training to be realeased here and on our YouTube channel.

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Feel free to send me an email at with your thoughts.