Oh, no!

This job listing has already expired.

Browse Active Jobs


Functional Lead

Finance Office

Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Posted on: 14th Sep 2021
  • Salary: £42,149 to £50,296, with potential progression once in post to £56,587
  • REF: 96016
  • Closes: 20th September 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

Job Summary

The Core Systems Optimisation team, (CSOT), is responsible for adopting quarterly release management, recommending and delivering enhancements to the functionality to improve adoption and efficiency, overseeing the work of the Managed Support Provider.and co-ordinating and delivering end-user support and training.

Reporting to the Head of CSOT, the Functional Lead will take responsibility for leading and developing one of three functional areas: Finance, HR and Payroll or Research, supported by a Functional Expert(s).

This will involve a detailed understanding of the relevant business processes and a deep knowledge of the system functionality in order to be able to identify system and process improvements and make changes to system configuration, as and when required. As well as expertise in the functional area you will also become an expert in Web Centre Content (Oracle Document Management system), reporting with Oracle Business Intelligence Applications (OBIA), Cloud-to-Cloud integrations, integrations to other systems, output documents and UPK (Oracle training platform).

The Functional Lead is responsible for recommending how the University’s use of the system can be optimised requiring a close alignment with the business-as-usual-elements of the University. It will also include maintaining knowledge of the Oracle Roadmap and detailed understanding of the next Quarterly Release to influence the priorities around adoption of new features and enhancements as well as understanding the root cause of defects. To achieve this, you will need to maintain effective working relationships with the Subject Matter Experts and Process Owners within the broader University to ensure that their feedback is central to priority setting.

Functional Leads are also expected to provide cover in the other two areas outside of their area of expertise.

Main duties

Optimisation of the software

  • To ensure that the University’s use of the software is optimised. This will involve understanding the associated benefit realisation of the Implementation programme and using this information to influence the development of the software as well as challenging the business to deliver the benefits.
  • To understand the nature of defects and their root-cause ensuring that robust fixes are deployed as quickly as possible. This may involve using escalation processes with the Managed Support Provider and/or Oracle or Worktribe. Ensuring the root cause of the issue is understood and mitigated to prevent its re-occurrence and the resolution is identified and implemented.
  • To brief and consult stakeholders and end-users as to progress at appropriate intervals, obtaining feedback on early stages of identifying changes to the software to ensure maximum user engagement.
  • To identify and advise the University on business process improvements that can be made in the functional area. This will involve understanding of the Oracle Roadmap or Worktribe Roadmap and the content of forthcoming quarterly releases.
  • To develop a functional roadmap of enhancements for bi-annual release that takes the following into account:
    • the time required to configure, test, deploy, train and implement,
    • the priority to the University and other end-users,
    • the cost and any other dependencies.

This will include impact assessing the content of Quarterly Releases to determine if any non-mandatory changes should be implemented as part of the deployment of the quarterly release. It will also be necessary to consider the timing of any environment refreshes.

  • To manage the release of new Oracle updates within your functional areas. This will ensure that regression testing is performed within the two-week window and any defects raised and resolved prior to deployment to production. Ensure that changes are communicated to stakeholder groups and training resources and process-maps are updated accordingly.

Data Integrity

  • To identify quality assurance issues with any data within your functional area which is created by individuals outside of your team and raising with the Data Owner to enable timely action is taken to correct, escalating if necessary, until resolved.
  • To be accountable for the integrity of any data manipulated within your team.


  • To work with Head of CSOT and CSOT Project Manager to ensure appropriate planning, communications, consultation, documentation, and other relevant programme governance is maintained for CSOT including contributing to reports required for Business Systems Committee.
  • To ensure appropriate documentation is developed and maintained for the functional area for which you are responsible, this includes but is not limited to:
    • Functional team’s performance against Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operating Level Agreements (OLAs)
    • Current defects by priority with the Managed Service Provider
    • Resolved defects identified by their root cause
    • Known issues and workarounds
    • Oracle Service Requests (SRs) and /or their Worktribe equivalent
    • Weekly and monthly retrospective summary of activities, including training provided to end-users
    • Quarterly look forward plans of activity
    • Catalogue of process maps, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and training guides, including last date of review
    • Definitions of system roles and their controls. Bi-annual confirmation that individuals are still entitled to hold those roles.
    • Backlog of enhancements to be implemented and their priority
    • Results of audits of the configuration within each environment against the configuration workbook maintained by the Managed Service Provider.
    • Notes of meetings with stakeholders, defining participants, actions, owners and deadlines
    • Recommendations made to functional areas on how business processes can be improved
    • Roadmap of functional enhancements
    • Knowledge Transfer documentation from Managed Service Provider on level 2 calls (i.e. break/fix queries, configuration issues, troubleshooting, functionality issues) from the IT Helpdesk that they resolved in order to increase CSOT knowledge base.
    • Integration maps of data that passes to other systems
    • Review of the appropriateness of the data that passes to other interfaces.
  • To lead user groups seeking feedback on the usability of the system and consulting on priorities for development.

System knowledge and Testing

  • To become the functional ‘expert user’, through on-the-job and formal training and self-study of the Oracle materials. This includes output documents, reporting using OTBI and OBIA, WCC and integrations to and from your functional area, inside and outside of the cloud.
  • To become an experienced user of the other two functional areas and UPK.
  • To ensure your functional area provides resolution to all Level 2 calls within SLAs, seeking guidance from the Managed Support Partner for the more complex calls. Ensure any support received is documented as part of the knowledge transfer library to develop knowledge and understanding within CSOT.
  • To evaluate and minimise the impact on integrations of any functional changes being made.
  • To provide on-going knowledge transfer to the business functions, to ensure they are self-sufficient at possible.
  • To evaluate the nature of requests for end-user support and identify whether that need can be proactively met e.g., more training on a particular area
  • To review the user roles, to ensure that they are being used and allocated appropriately and remain fit-for-purpose. This will involve consulting with end-users regarding their needs and managing the overlap with the University’s Identity Management system.
  • To ensure that security profiles continue to be configured correctly to minimise data protection risks.
  • To review University’s reporting requirements within the functional area. Commission any additional reports with the end-user in mind, based on how they are currently used and any needs that are not currently being met. You will be required to develop some reports.


  • To lead user groups for your functional area to receive feedback on the usability of the system, consult on how the system could be developed and priorities for future enhancements. To coordinate resources from the extended New Core team, including project management.
  • To maintain and develop a group of super-users employed elsewhere in the University.

Training and End-user support

  • To maintain process-maps and SOPs.
  • To maintain a list of “known-issues” appropriate for end-user consumption.
  • To work with the Training and Operations Manager to ensure training materials remain relevant and fit-for-purpose
  • To deliver training in the absence of the Training and Operations Manager.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience


  • Degree or equivalent experience
  • Membership of a recognised Professional Body (e.g. – ATT, CIPD, CIPP) is desirable.

The post holder will have the following combined knowledge, experience and personal qualities.

  • Relevant professional experience preferably in Higher Education, a comparable complex public sector body or significant commercial organisation.
  • Knowledge and experience of ERP / HRP system implementation
  • Knowledge of the Higher Education environment.
  • Excellent influencing and negotiating skills as well as the ability to manage conflict and resistance to change.
  • Excellent communication and inter-personal skills including :
    • the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, including the ability to produce high quality project documentation and well developed presentation skills;
    • establishing and managing collaborative stakeholder relationships and networks with academics, professional services staff and other partners demonstrating credibility and gravitas;
    • interacting with all levels of staff including the ability to motivate and develop people;
    • Excellent influencing, negotiating and facilitating skills.
    • the ability to work using own initiative and mange own workload within agreed deadlines and tolerances
  • Ability to think strategically, providing input to workshops and planning meetings.
  • A creative, imaginative and enthusiastic approach to problem solving and process improvement activities.
  • Well-developed administrative and organisational skills with a proven ability to pay attention to detail.
  • Good IT skills, including Microsoft Office and Viso
  • Collaborative and flexible working style.
  • Ability to prioritise work, particularly under pressure.
  • An understanding of and empathy for the activities/objectives of the University.
  • Personal characteristics:
  • Strong intellectual abilities
  • Eye for detail and strong influencing personality
  • Judgement and resilience
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Negotiation and conflict management
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Energy and resilience

Informal enquires to Alison Jinks, email: a.jinks@bham.ac.uk

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

Employer Achievements:

company award