Research Costing Tool project: Decommissioning of pFACT

by | Feb 22, 2022 | Costing | 0 comments

Research Costing Tool Project 

The research costing tool project aims to improve the University’s ability to accurately cost research activity and will allow staff to model costs throughout the lifecycle of a research project. BlackDackel, a web-based costing tool, has been implemented at The University of Manchester for the current Research Services Support cohort. 

Project update 

The project completed a soft launch of BlackDackel to cohort within Research Services in July 2021. This soft launch has allowed the project to liaise closely with the business to overcome any teething issues and fix any bugs discovered in the system. 

Research Support users been involved in feeding back to the project to ensure BlackDackel incorporates complex costing scenarios, as well as testing new enhanced functionality. As a result, the project will now enter a decommissioning phase of the old, unsupported costing system, pFACT. 

Why is pFACT being decommissioned now? 

As BlackDackel is now a more fully functioning tool, it has been agreed that users should now be able to transition from pFact and create all costing budgets within BlackDackel. To avoid users from costing budgets in an unsupported tool, pFACT needs to be closed. PFACT does not have current pay scales or rates, so any costs created in the system are incorrect. 

When and how will this decommission take place? 

The project will start the decommissioning of pFACT from Monday 7th March 2022. Access will be reduced via a phased approach: 

  • Phase One (7th March 2022) 

Read-only access 

  • Phase Two (May 2022) 

Disabled access 

  • Phase Three (June 2022) 

Full decomission of pFACT 

Information for Project Managers 

Project Managers will be granted access to BlackDackel as part of the larger Academic roll-out which is planned to take place within the Academic year 22/23. Project Managers will be granted access to BlackDackel for modelling costings as part of this roll out. If you required costs to be modelled after your access is removed from pFACT, please contact your local Research Support Officer who will be able to model costs within BlackDackel. 

What do I need to do to prepare for the decommissioning?  

You can prepare by making any suitable edits to pFACT records by Friday 4th March 2022. Download any suitable reports from pFACT before May 2022 and ensure you have all the relevant data from the system before the full close in June 2022.  


If you need support with downloading reports within pFACT after March 2022, please contact your faculty Research Serice Teams who will be able to support you. Alternatively, please log a ticket with the finance support helpdesk via the IT Support Portal. 


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