The Costing, Pricing and Approval (CPA) tool for external funding was launched on 1 April 2015. The next version is currently being developed for release in October 2016. There are no changes to the existing policy and procedure for Costing and Pricing of Externally Funded Research Projects, University Consultancies and Commercial Services which came into effect on 1 April 2015.
What are we trying to achieve?
After extensive roundtable and subsequent college working group discussions, UICT approved funding to achieve the following:
- Fixed Price Projects will be accommodated within the tool functionality.
- Projects exempt from the Policy, for example Category 1 remain in the tool but utilise the certification tabs only. The budget tabs are removed once the policy exemption is noted within a checkbox on page 1.
- Staff will be able to search within the system utilising drop down menus. The task list and the full project lists are now separate to assist staff manage their tasks and data
- The pop-up screen for adding budget data is being updated providing a single screen to complete data entry.
- College Research Officers will be provided with an automatic “heads up” notification of projects which include CI collaboration around campus, improving the seamless administration of projects that across college boundaries.
- Local System Administrator roles will be in place, there will be 1-2 system administrators per College enabling College to control the change to reviewers within the system.
- Improvements to the existing workflow include:
- New roles to clarify between School Directors and College General Managers
- Senior Delegates can be selected from a drop down lists providing flexibility where more than 1 individual has delegated authority.
- Each College will be able to prescribe two different workflows supporting the two or three tier organisational hierarchy that exists at ANU.
- Each profile includes non-mandatory questions. Each College will determine the required approval information needed and which administrative role in the system must provide that information. All projects within that College will follow the same profile.
- Greater flexibility in the timing and recording of waiver approvals is being provided.
All existing users will be impacted by these improvements.
How will it improve our services?
The CPA tool continues to provide an online solution that standardises the method to costing projects across the University. Lessons learned from the Phase 1 & 2 of the project highlighted the need to:
- Improve Certification workflow to support college organisational hierarchy
- Enable local system administrators to support college researchers
- Increase training and development across the community
- Conduct extensive user testing program incorporating College staff.
The tool’s automated and streamline approval process is updated to include enhanced flexibility to support individual College business processes. Additionally the tool supports the researcher in improved user interface; providing functionality for calculating costs for projects with fixed price amounts; enabling policy exempt projects a more streamlined approval process; improving support for waiver administration and fostering and supporting cross-college collaboration within projects.
The project is being delivered as a joint partnership between RSD, ITS and an external party(Readify). Key steps for delivery include:
- Build & Functional Testing
- Full Regression Testing
- User Acceptance Testing
- Data Migration