Detailed Review of Varasi Program Management Salesforce App

Japanese class scheduled using Varasi Program Management Salesforce app

Varasi Program Management is reviewed against 200+ project management software requirements on a downloadable spreadsheet. Varasi Program Management is only scored for the communication management process out of the ten project management processes. This post provides a summary of the key strengths and weaknesses for the communication management processes.

Varasi Program Management Summary Findings

The Varasi Program Management app is a project management tool available on the Salesforce AppExchange for scheduling live training programs. Varasi Program Management refers to training ‘programs’ or other types of live events. It doesn’t refer to managing a large program which is a group of projects. Varasi Program Management is a good basic tool for managing live training and events. You can schedule multiple sessions for a program, then track enrollment and attendance, as well as, location details and expenses for the sessions.

There are four large gaps which limit Varasi Program Management’s usefulness for project management. First, it can only be used for live training sessions like classroom training or webinars. The majority of project training is now done using computer-based training (CBT). Because Varasi is build around sessions, I couldn’t figure out any way students could be enrolled in a CBT and their completion tracked.

The second gap is the ability for students to self-enroll. I didn’t see any practical way for students to view a list of available sessions and to self-enroll in a session. A student would have to access the Varasi Program Management app and know what program to access. Ideally, an app would assign a student to a program and they then could self-enroll in a specific schedule through a portal.

The third gap is that students are defined as Salesforce Contacts, not Salesforce Users. So if you are planning internal training for an internal project you may have to setup your internal students as Salesforce Contacts in order to user Varasi Program Management.

The last gap is a lack of any functionality to identify the training subjects and audiences as they relate to the changes being made by the project. The change management planning which would define the training sessions and audiences is outside of its scope.

App
Total Score2%
Communications Management45%

Download Varasi Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to add the Varasi Excel spreadsheet to your basket and continue reading. Visit the basket page to complete the download.

Varasi Program Management Pricing

It is free.

Varasi Program Management Scoring Methodology

I’ve been evaluating all of the Salesforce project management software and sharing the results to help others save time in making an informed decision. I started the evaluation as marketing research for the Salesforce project management app I built: Project Lifecycle Pro. I’m doing my best to give a unbiased review, but I’ve attached the detailed Excel spreadsheet which you can use to perform your own analysis. Here are detailed instructions on how to use the spreadsheet to weight requirements and compare multiple software packages side-by-side.

I structured the analysis around the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)© project management process. This is outlined in the PM Book of Knowledge (PMBOK)©. First, I listed the project management processes and then the activities within each process. Finally, I developed a list of requirements related to each of the activities. The list of requirements is based upon my thirty years of project management experience and experience evaluating project management tools for clients. When I come across novel functionality in the software I’m evaluating I add it to the requirements list. Of course, I’m sure I missed some requirements and welcome any suggestions.

I gave all processes and requirements equal weights, but you can adjust the scoring weights in the Excel spreadsheet to suit your needs. Each requirement was rated as either:

  • Yes – As Is – Meaning, the requirement is met with out-of-the-box functionality. This rating is awarded four points.
  • Yes – With Configuration – Meaning the requirement can be met with minimal configuration or no-code updates. Since, Salesforce is highly configurable I used this rating for simple things like changing picklist values, adding a field to an existing data object, creating a report, etc. This rating is awarded two points.
  • No – Not Available or Requires Customization – Meaning the requirement cannot be met without significant investment of time or money. I assigned this rating if custom coding would be required, or a new custom data object, or a new custom flow. This rating is awarded zero points.

Finally, the scoring spreadsheet totals the ratings by process to show how the apps compare by process. Therefore, you can assess the apps based on which processes are the most important to you. You can confirm my scoring using the Varasi Program Management test drive or by installing the free trial into a sandbox.

Here are some links to help you research the app:

Download Varasi Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to download the Varasi Excel spreadsheet.

Communications Management

This is the only process relevant to Varasi Program Management. If you are looking for a tool to schedule and track live training sessions, you should take a close look at this tool. If you will have lots of computer-based training (CBT), then you should consider other tools like a training management system (TMS).

Strength: Schedule Recurring Sessions

When defining the sessions for a training program, you can create multiple sessions at once by setting up a recurring schedule, such as, 10 total sessions held every Tuesday and Thursday. It will even calculate the number of sessions required based on the total students and max class size.

Strength: Track Session Details

You can track session details such as:

  • Location and location contact
  • The instructor and assistants
  • Expenses
  • Enrollment and attendance

Weakness: Doesn’t Support Computer-Based Training (CBT)

Because it is built around training sessions, I couldn’t figure out any way Varasi Program Management could be used for enrolling and tracking completion of computer-based training (CBT). CBTs can be interactive training or simply watching a YouTube video. A CBT doesn’t have a specific session, it has an assignment and required completion date.

Weakness: Doesn’t Support Self-Enrollment

For a large project, you want to schedule various training session options and then have students self-enroll for a session that is convenient for their schedule. Technically, you could give Salesforce users access to Varasi and instruct them on how to find their assigned program and to enroll in a session, but this doesn’t seem very practical.

Weakness: Students as Contacts

Session students are defined as Salesforce Contacts. Therefore, if you are planning internal training where most of the students are Salesforce Users, you’d have to create a contact record for each student rather than using the existing user record.

Weakness: Doesn’t Support Any Change Management Planning

Varasi Program Management is simply a training scheduling tool. It doesn’t provide any functionality to plan what needs to be taught and who needs to receive the training.

In Conclusion

You should consider Varasi Program Management if you need a simple tool for scheduling external live training sessions. If you are looking for a tool to help plan change management or manage computer-based training you should research PMO or TMS tools.

Regards,

Brian

Additional References

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