Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Action Officers Rejoice !! Ashton Carter bans PowerPoint within DoD

Washington DC - In a move aimed at regaining funding lost through sequestration, the newly confirmed Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, has banned PowerPoint presentations within the Department of Defense.

RADM John Kirby was asked for comment but could only reply, "It's not my job (anymore), man."

Various budget groups within DoD have estimated that nearly all funds lost to sequestration will be recovered through the time saved by over 4,000 action officers no longer working on 'point'-less PowerPoint presentations.

All action officers will be required to complete the Admiral James Stavridis "CONCISE WRITING" "Gobbledygook Has Gotta Go" course.

Quotable quote - "If your boss insists upon PowerPoint briefings for decision-making, find a new boss."

Bryan McGrath's counterpoint on a well-crafted PowerPoint is HERE


FCC/C10 Action Officer said...

This edict won't last long. People default to the lowest common denominator.

HMS Defiant said...


Anonymous said...

Power Point isn't the problem.... The problem is the mushy headed people who create power point briefs that confound and confuse, and more so, the aimless leaders that tolerate and even encourage these mindless expenditures of time and effort.

Chuck said...

Anon 8:38 -

No doubt powerpoint IS part of the problem. We shifted from a format of messages, papers, and OPORDS to one of fancy presentations with graphs and charts and bullets and quad charts. Nothing wrong with that if you take the first step of writing the message, OPORD, etc. But when we go straight to the powerpoint presentation then the end product suffers.



Anonymous said...

Sorry, can't afford NOT to use a presentation application such as PowerPoint.

Senior leaders & decision makers at all levels do not have the time (or attention span) for the alternative(s).

Anonymous said...

We don't have a technology problem, we have Navy and Community culture is common belief/practice to believe that generating a pretty brief, and making a decision equates to leadership or progress. Reality is that progress in any organization is demonstrated through deliberate action that is well understood by t he work force.

This problem is not just Navy, but across the gamit of industries out there with a few pockets of success. How are you affecting positive change in the Navy? If it is in a conference room one could easily argue that you are not affecting it at all...

Sean Heritage said...

Too many people focus on building and briefing slides. They don't realize that the purpose of an engagement (no matter how big or small) is to communicate ideas, decisions, and vision that result in action. If slides are the focus, there is no chance of connecting with the audience or meeting the desired outcome. That said, meaningful use of graphics can strengthen the message and re-enforce the message long after the engagement is over.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I believe this since
C7F has written an OPTASK PowerPoint that told me exactly what font/pitch/colorbullets to use on the brief. Then I needed to submit a daily quad slide out to god and country with pictures. Not complaining just saying I could have used that 6 hours in a more constructive manner.

Bill Hickey said...

Years ago, we used viewgraphs to do the same thing PP does today, but it took a long lead time to prep the presentations. When General Odom was DirNSA, he forbade any WORDS on viewgraph presentations, telling his seniors to use "cartoons" instead. The reason was because people were READING the slide to him, and as he said, he could read the slide faster than they could read it to him, and if that's the only thing they brought to the presentation, ONE OF THEM (presentation or the presenter) was redundant.

Anonymous said...

In response, belated, to the comment from Anonymous said...
Sorry, can't afford NOT to use a presentation application such as PowerPoint.

Senior leaders & decision makers at all levels do not have the time (or attention span) for the alternative(s)

I don't believe Eisenhower sat through a single ppt presentation, or Washington or Westmoreland. There are other/better ways to communicate facts, conjectures, intelm than putting them into a slide where some petty person insists on changing the font, using the template properly or limiting it to no more than 5 slides.

I really liked c6f's homepage long ago when he compared the staff/functions of the current 6th fleet with the same fleet 40 years earlier when there were orders of magnitude differences between ship/air craft and dip clearance issues and yet all had been done with 1/100th of the staff.

Personally, I never spent more than 5 minutes putting together any power point brief. Utter waste of time.

ppt is make-work