VLE and e-portfolio Project Manager

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
12 Jul 2019
End of advertisement period
18 Aug 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Closing date 18 Aug 2019 23:00 (UK time)
Salary £40,792–£48,677 (Grade 8)
Location Edinburgh
Department Information Services
Category Professional & Managerial
Status Full Time
Duration 24 months fixed-term

About Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team        

The VLE and e-portfolio project is an institution wide initiative to replace the institutional VLE with Canvas as well as procuring and implementing an e-portfolio system in order to enable a step change in our use of learning technology from September 2020.

This would be a staged approach, the first stage being the technical conversion of current live courses from the current VLE into Canvas alongside training and development for staff to become confident Canvas users. This then provides the technical platform and functionality on which to develop fresh approaches to learning and teaching, as led by the Learning and Teaching Academy within the university.

In tandem with this would be the identification of the optimum e-portfolio solution to be implemented alongside and integrated into Canvas to enable improved student /teacher engagement.  It is proposed that the Graduate Apprentices would be the first cohort to use this.

The second year of the project would focus on a supported refresh and enhancement of course materials.

The project will run for approximately two years and then will be mainstreamed into business as usual.

Detailed Description

This is an excellent opportunity to join the VLE and e-portfolio project at its inception and help Heriot-Watt University to transform learning technology and the design and delivery of learning materials to improve the student and staff experience.

The successful candidate will work closely with academic colleagues and students; the Learning and Teaching Academy; the Digital Learning Forum members; IS staff;  the vendor; and all of the key stakeholders, including those at our overseas campuses, to plan and oversee a rapid implementation of Canvas and an e-portfolio system, the  review and re-design of the associated processes, introduction of improved integrations with other systems; enhanced online presence and removal of obsolete systems.

The successful candidate will prepare and present the detailed business case for formal approval and thereafter lead on the implementation of the new VLE and e-portfolio system, co-ordinating people, tasks and budget to ensure successful delivery.

The project manager will act as a positive change agent, and will be involved in presenting and recommending change to senior staff and stakeholders at all campuses and supporting staff through change.

Specifically we are looking for a candidate with proven experience of implementing a VLE or an e-portfolio system within tertiary education; strong project management experience and understanding; preferably with business systems analysis and/or process design experience; and preferably an understanding of cloud-based technology and software as a service.

The role-holder will report to a formal project board representing key stakeholders.

Key duties and responsibilities        

  • planning and designing the project and proactively monitoring its progress, resolving issues and initiating appropriate corrective action
  • defining the project's structure and governance arrangements, creating and maintaining comprehensive documentation using Heriot-Watt University project methodology
  • ensuring effective quality assurance and the overall integrity of the managing the programme's budget on behalf of the programme board, monitoring expenditure and costs against delivered and realised benefits as the programme progresses
  • facilitating the appointment of individuals to stages and tasks of the project
  • co-ordinating internal resources and the vendor to ensure delivery of each stage of the project
  • developing project scopes and objectives, involving all relevant stakeholders and ensuring technical feasibility
  • ensuring the delivery of new products or services from projects is to the appropriate level of quality, on time and within budget, in accordance with the project plan and project governance arrangements
  • managing third party contributions to the project
  • using appropriate verification techniques to manage changes in project scope, schedule and costs
  • measuring project performance using appropriate systems, tools and techniques
  • adopting strong risk management procedures to minimize project risks and ensuring the project’s successful outcome
  • managing communications with all stakeholders
  • managing both the dependencies and the interfaces between projects and other systems
  • ensuring proper validation, testing, training and user sign-off of all deliverables
  • working with the key business staff on the transition to the new business as usual position
  • initiating extra activities and other management interventions wherever gaps in the project are identified or issues arise
  • reporting the progress of the project at regular intervals to the project board
  • ensuring that the project and systems adhere to GDPR principles

Education, qualifications and experience


  • Educated to  first degree level or equivalent or equivalent practical experience in the workplace
  • Demonstrable experience of managing a project or programme team in a complex educational environment
  • Demonstrable experience of managing resources, workloads and changing priorities for self and others
  • Demonstrable experience of managing change
  • Ability to operate in a complex global environment, preferably HE
  • Demonstrable  ability to work within a fast-changing environment
  • Proven experience of dealing with and leading in uncertainty and ambiguity
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent influencing skills
  • Good track record of developing and maintaining positive working relationships with internal and external customers, peers, stakeholders and others
  • PRINCEII or equivalent trained and practitioner
  • Highly computer literate with an understanding of data relationships, table structures and process flows.
  • Flexible and resilient
  • Collaborative and proactive


  • Chartered Member of a relevant Professional Body
  • Formal qualifications in Project Management, Change Management,  Business Analysis or Business Process Design are not an essential requirement, but demonstrable extensive experience is essential
  • Experience of operating in a complex global environment

How To Apply

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on Sunday, 18th August 2019.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview during the week commencing 26th August 2019.

Informal enquiries should be made to Kathy McCabe, Director of Information Services, on 0131 451 3570 or at k.mccabe@hw.ac.uk

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of non-European nationals. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs