VLE and e-portfolio Business Analyst

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 £32,236–£39,609 (Grade 7)
Location Edinburgh
Department Information Services
Category Professional & Managerial
Status Full Time
Duration 12 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        

This is a two year project will 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.

In tandem with this would be the identification of the optimum e-portfolio solution to be implemented alongside and integrated into Canvas.  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.

Detailed Description

VLE and e-portfolio implementation project

This is an excellent opportunity to join the VLE and e-portfolio project for its first stage 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 initially work closely with the project manager to analyse the detailed requirements and inform the overall project plan.  The successful candidate will also work closely with academic colleagues and students; the Digital Learning Forum members; IS staff;  the vendor; and all of the key stakeholders, including 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.

Specifically we are looking for those with a deep understanding of business analysis and business process design, preferably in one of the following areas.

  • VLE software and design principles
  • E-portfolio systems for HE

We are also looking for creative people who have a passion for providing good service and who will support and enable all staff in their daily work by designing and implementing clear and effective processes.

This is a one year fixed term contract.

Key duties and responsibilities       

  • Contribute their knowledge and expertise to the ongoing task of designing effective and intuitive processes relating to the implementation of the VLE and e-portfolio system, as specified by the project manager.
  • Support the project manager to specify the requirements and conduct the procurement for the e-portfolio solution.
  • Be a positive advocate for transformational change to systems and processes.
  • Work with stakeholders, functional experts and technical staff and draw on their knowledge and expertise to identify, analyze and specify business change requirements.
  • Organise and facilitate requirements workshops and meetings.
  • Develop functional specifications and test scripts; and execute functional testing for any enhancements to ensure quality.
  • Provide support and guidance to users of the system.
  • Work with training staff to develop training programmes for new developments.
  • Carry out training where required – in particular, training trainers and support staff.
  • Write presentations and present to staff at all levels of the university.
  • Keep abreast of developments to the third-party supplied systems and technology which support digital learning.
  • Network with process stakeholders.
  • Network with the wider community of users of the software on which the digital learning systems sit.
  • Report to the project manager or his/her nominee.



  • Prepare and deliver presentations to staff on new systems or policies.
  • Speak to users with no specialist knowledge in language that they can understand.
  • Perform third line support.
  • Take part in, organise and lead specialist discussions with end users.
  • Master the specific terminology of VLE and e-portfolio systems; and be well versed in the terminology of technical project work.
  • Participate in the training of staff and develop training programmes.
  • Provide regular verbal reports on progress.


  • Write business, functional and technical documentation - including test documentation.
  • Tailor documentation to suit the audience: this can vary between end-users: administrators, academics, students; and key stakeholders such as process owners.
  • Communicate progress towards team objectives.
  • Summarise complex specialist issues or information for managers or stakeholders.

Teamwork & Motivation

  • Support and encourage team members, colleagues and stakeholders, helping to build co-operation within and between the project of the programme.
  • Lead and manage colleagues - even without having direct line-management authority.
  • Demonstrate flexibility to deliver team results, while contributing to team morale.
  • Engage with other teams within the programme, Information Services, the vendor and the wider university to establish a common approach.
  • Participate in formal testing of other work-streams deliverables, where appropriate.
  • Monitor progress and takes appropriate action to deal with difficulties or slippage.
  • Support and encourage end-users of enhancements to the digital learning environment.

Liaison and Networking

  • Represent their team in formal internal networks, such as project boards.
  • Represent Heriot-Watt University in formal external networks related to the project, if required.
  • Gather information through these networks and report back
  • Network with stakeholders to elicit requirements.
  • Manage expectations of the user community in terms of what can be delivered.
  • Liaise with a wide range of stakeholders to gather information, exchange knowledge, and smooth the introduction of the changes and enhancements to digital learning processes.
  • Keep abreast of developments which may affect digital learning processes. E.g. changes to university policy, statutory requirements, or software.

Service Delivery

  • Play a key role in the development of enhancements to VLE and e-portfolio systems  administration, delivering benefits to students and staff
  • Ensure that the enhancements will meet the needs of the university within the bounds of resources.
  • Ensure that risks or issues which affect the ability to meet those needs are escalated to the project manager or his/her nominee.
  • Contribute to discussions of service level agreements with suppliers.

Decision Making

  • As a subject matter expert, make recommendations to the project manager, colleagues and stakeholders on how to proceed.
  • Collaborate with others within the VLE and e-portfolio project and/or stakeholders to reach decisions that have an impact on the operation or function of the university.
  • Provide advice or input to others’ decisions which has an impact on the operation or function of the university.
  • Decide which software configuration options best meet university requirements.
  • Identify those decisions which require team-wide discussion – especially those which may have a wider impact – or escalation to the project manager.

Planning and Organising Resources

  • Plan work on a weekly or monthly basis as specified in the overall plan, with co-ordination with colleagues, suppliers, key stakeholders and the project manager Work within the chosen methodologies of the projects, including the Heriot-Watt project management methodology.
  • Co-ordinate the work of the project on a day-to-day basis.
  • Co-ordinate with groups of colleagues involved in the project; such as user-testers or learning technology input staff.
  • Decide on the optimal order of deliverables.
  • Monitor progress against plans and report slippage.
  • Re-schedule in the event of new priorities.
  • Liaise with the project manager, technical staff and stakeholders to ensure resources are available to meet project deadlines.

Initiative and Problem Solving

  • Analyse requirements and identify best solutions to business problems.
  • Consider the relative efficiency of new processes and make recommendations.

Analysis and Research

  • Gather business requirements and analyse with respect to project objectives and constraints.
  • Analyze complex information system to understand data structures and process flows.
  • Analyze complex datasets to understand how university structures can be represented.

Work Environment

  • Work on demanding key strategic projects.

Team Development

  • Take a lead in building and maintaining team and stakeholder morale.
  • Train or guide others on specific tasks, issues or activities, giving advice, guidance and feedback on the basis of their own knowledge or experience.
  • Deliver formal training.

Teaching and Learning Support

  • Provide the business and functional documentation on which training is based.
  • Formulate end-user training delivery.
  • Produce training documentation and online resources.
  • Provide training to groups of stakeholders

Education, qualifications and experience        

Knowledge and Experience:

  • Have a degree or equivalent, with experience working with a medium level of autonomy and medium to high responsibility, with  experience working as a business analyst or business process designer, ideally within higher education.
  • Should have experience working in a medium but rapid project environment (with its consequent demands of deadlines and co-operation) and experience working with appropriate VLE / e-portfolio or equivalent systems.
  • Computer literate and preferably with an understanding of data relationships, table structures and process flows.
  • Be (or be capable of becoming) the university’s primary authority in the use of information systems for their areas of expertise – drawing on past experience, investigations and use of the software and liaison with others involved in the business area.
  • Through contributing expertise, shape developments within the University that draw on knowledge of the software and the business areas.

Formal Qualifications

  • A degree or equivalent.
  • Formal qualifications in Business Analysis are desirable but not an essential requirement.


  • The successful applicant must have ideas on how we can transform our processes and the drive to see those ideas through.
  • They will need to be self-motivated, able to work to a high standard under their own initiative; as well as a team player.
  • Must be capable of playing a leadership role as well as contributing to and assisting in the work of a multi-disciplined team.
  • Must be adept at problem solving and possess a pleasant personality and disposition.

The post involves contact with a diverse range of personnel at all levels both within and out with the university and therefore the successful applicant will require to possess excellent communication skills.



  • Have experience working as a business analyst or business process designer where they played a key role in business change.


  • Experience working in a large scale project environment.
  • Experience of the Canvas VLE
  • Experience of an e-portfolio system



  • Degree or equivalent


  • Business analysis qualification or certification.

Skills, Knowledge and Aptitude


  • An understanding of project lifecycles.
  • Ability to provide estimates of timescales of existing work, report on risks; and propose contingency and mitigation measures.
  • Ability to summarise complex specialist issues or information for managers or stakeholders.
  • Ability to produce, present and win business cases,
  • Computer literate.
  • An understanding of business process notation.
  • Comfortable in using MS Office applications in particular, Word, Excel, Powerpoint


  • An understanding of data relationships, table structures and process flows.
  • Comfortable in using MS Project.
  • Comfortable in using and administering Office365 tools and video-conferencing systems
  • Personal Attributes


  • Self-motivated,
  • Able to work to a high standard under their own initiative
  • Team player - contributing to and assisting in the work of a multi-disciplined team.
  • Capable of playing a leadership role
  • Adept at problem solving
  • Possessing a pleasant personality and disposition.

The post involves contact with a diverse range of personnel at all levels both within and out with the University and therefore the successful applicant will require to possess excellent communication skills - written, verbal and through visual media.

How To Apply

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

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.