Inder Ahluwalia, Project Manager in Toronto, ON, Canada
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Inder Ahluwalia

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Toronto, ON, Canada
Toptal Member Since
October 10, 2019

Inder is a trusted advisor of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) system and a Jira Align solution architect. He has dedicated his 28-year career to enabling organizations to "work differently," accelerate time-to-market, and manage digital disruption.

Work Experience

SAFe Strategic Advisor

2020 - 2021
Assumption Life
  • Designed and supported the full Agile transformation rollout.
  • Provided Agile leadership coaching and training to scrum masters, product owners, functional managers, and executives.
  • Accelerated business agility to improve the company's software, systems, and Agile business processes.

CTO for eCommerce B2C

2020 - 2020
Silver Gold Bull Inc.
  • Approached organizational change by emphasizing understanding the problem that needs to be solved.
  • Acted as a change catalyst for the SAFe implementation.
  • Acted as a trusted advisor, transformation architect, and expert trainer of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) system.
  • Built the target operating model and capabilities and empowered and equipped different stakeholders (business and technology) with better tools, processes, and practices.
  • Served as a SAFe 6 Practice Consultant-T, enabling the organization to work differently, accelerate time-to-market, and manage digital disruption.

SAFe Transformation Consultant

2020 - 2020
Emirates Group
  • Led the definition and adoption of Lean portfolio management practices across a portfolio of portfolios and programs which enable successful and timely delivery of technology commitments to the business.
  • Designed and implemented enterprise, portfolio, program, and project-level roles, systems, and tools to enable value delivery. Established key metrics and performance indicators to measure organizational maturity.
  • Acted as a catalyst for cultural change through the adoption of Lean and Agile ways of working, building collaborative relationships and networks with portfolio leaders, IT executives, and key business stakeholders.
  • Provided coaching to the teams, including the establishment of new teams, and helped teams continuously improve, inspect, adapt, deliver, and mature in their use of Agile principles.
  • Facilitated discussions across multiple levels of stakeholders to identify and escalate highly complex problems impeding the team's delivery progress using a scrum of scrums approach.
  • Identified learning and development opportunities for the team. Customized, maintained, and delivered training materials as needed.

SAFe Transformation Consultant

2019 - 2019
BofA Securities
  • Led the transformation and adoption of Agile into a traditional banking environment using an adaptive coaching style.
  • Balanced Agile purism and adaptive delivery. Gathered a cross-functional guiding coalition of change catalysts and acted as their coach and subject matter expert to drive the transformation.
  • Trained and provided guidance to multiple teams in environments where Agile development is not yet fully adopted and understood.
  • Trained and coached product owners, business sponsors, developers, test engineers, DevOps engineers, partners, and stakeholders to fully understand and feel empowered to incorporate Agile in their lines of business.
  • Communicated the bank's long-term vision to inform partners that business agility requires everyone involved in delivering solutions to use Lean and Agile practices to provide innovative, high-quality products and services faster than competitors.
  • Facilitated the identification of value streams and team, portfolio, and program-level ceremonies. Supported communities of practice through participation, including facilitation, coaching, giving talks, and more.
  • Coached Agile release trains in relentless improvement, creating transparency using metrics to drive positive change, facilitating the resolution of dependencies, impediments, and risks.
  • Developed detailed work plans, sprints, schedule, and resource plans in conjunction with project team members and the executive sponsor. Acted as a single point of contact for all program and project-related issues and escalations.
  • Managed plans, dependencies, scope, risks issues, and quality-and-deliver projects in line with agreed-upon overall program commitments. Created and managed project budgets.
  • Trained and provided guidance to multiple teams, scrum masters, product owners, portfolio owners, and RTEs in environments in which Agile is not yet fully adopted and understood.

Agile Coach | Process Transformation Consultant

2018 - 2018
  • Drove cultural change by leading the organization and business-line-level initiatives, teams, managers, and senior leaders to espouse the Agile transformation and provided ongoing coaching to help them achieve more than they thought possible.
  • Acted as the role model in living the Agile methodology and as a change agent to support the organization through successful change.
  • Built and managed multidisciplinary teams. Provided training to Agile teams as needed; helped teams continuously reflect and improve, becoming more effective in their roles and increasing the outcome, collaboration, and quality practices.
  • Coached and mentored scrum masters, product owners, Agile teams, and business owners.
  • Monitored and reported on project traction and progress and, as necessary, coordinated the development discussion and approval of corrective action and/or contingency plans.
  • Created project status reports, highlighting critical issues for management and the project's overall status.
  • Managed stakeholder relations to ensure that project delivery expectations were clearly defined and met.
  • Drove and tracked change management work as project deliverables were rolled out.
  • Provided clear direction and motivation to project teams.
  • Led and facilitated structured and regular meetings as necessary for successful communication between all team members. Developed and maintained all project documentation.

SAFe Transformation Advisor | Jira Align Consultant

2017 - 2017
Kar Auction Services
  • Met with stakeholders and teams across the organization to inventory existing custom software and IT processes. Streamlined and documented current processes. Performed value stream identification and mapping. Proposed and implemented a target state.
  • Set the foundation for being a trusted advisor by acting as a dependable collaborator, building trust, and modeling positive behaviors with client teams and other individuals on Agile teams.
  • Worked with senior leaders to define strategies and roadmaps for transitioning to Atlassian Products like Jira Align, Jira, and Confluence.
  • Influenced change across programs and functional areas by working across all levels of the organization to define and execute successful Atlassian product implementation strategies, getting hands-on in enabling the incremental delivery of value.
  • Led and facilitated workshops and training sessions to educate leaders and teams on Atlassian products like Jira Align, Jira, and Confluence.
  • Supported client stakeholders and client teams on their journey to implement Atlassian products—Jira Align, Jira, and Confluence—and successfully employ Agile practices.
  • Provided role-based Agile training for business and technology executives, product owners, scrum masters, release train engineers (RTE), and development teams. Facilitated story writing and splitting skills.
  • Mentored and paired with change agents and stakeholders in client organizations to help them become Lean-Agile champions and build lasting Agile skills.
  • Facilitated the story and epic-level backlog refinement and prioritization.
  • Ensured impediments were visible and tracked through to resolution, escalating when necessary.

Release Train Engineer (RTE)

2015 - 2016
Capital One Financial
  • Provided training, tools, and coaching. Introduced a CI/CD pipeline, test-first development including TDD and ATDD, and collective code ownership including pair programming and single branch merges using GitHub.
  • Created the vision and roadmap artifacts and release and program plans with epics, features, user stories, and team dependencies. Facilitated scrum of scrums for multiple Agile and Kanban teams.
  • Developed detailed work plans, sprints, and schedule and resource plans in conjunction with project team members and the executive sponsor.
  • Acted as a single point of contact for all program and project-related issues and escalations. Actively managed plans, dependencies, scope, risk issues, and quality and delivered projects in line with the agreed-upon overall program commitments.
  • Created and managed project budgets—managed project scope and risks. Tracked risks and actively drove mitigation strategies.
  • Monitored and reported on project traction and progress and, as necessary, coordinated the development discussion and approval of corrective action and/or contingency plans.
  • Created project status reports, highlighting critical issues for the management and overall status of the project. Used Agile and Lean principles to focus on delivery excellence from project and program management to coordination.
  • Managed stakeholder relations to ensure that project delivery expectations were clearly defined and met. Drove and tracked change management work as project deliverables were rolled out.
  • Managed vendor relationships where applicable. Led and facilitated structured and regular meetings as necessary for successful communication between all team members.
  • Developed and maintained all project documentation. Coordinated with partners from product, operations, design, and technology to co-create processes and culture that focused on innovative, well-managed delivery as the Agile delivery manager.

New Wave | $25 Million Online Car Auction Platform

Managed a geographically distributed department across four development centers in Canada, the USA, and India.

This custom software and IT services platform generated about $80 million in revenue and is the most profitable of all the company's offerings. I managed a geographically distributed department across four development centers in Canada, the USA, and India.

I led the redesign and upgrade of Adesa's cloud-based online car auction solution to maintain Adesa's market-leading position.

New Wave leveraged the latest advances in online and digital technology to deliver a more simplified user experience and enable seamless use across desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. By integrating the advanced analytics, pricing, and reporting capabilities, New Wave provided an opportunity to take care of the existing customers and offer them a better experience, representing an opportunity to grow new customers on that platform as we advance.

KAR is the clear leader in upstream auctions, especially in the private-label sector. It runs such auctions for more than 40 brands in Canada and the US, often on behalf of captive finance companies, by tapping the expertise of its Openlane online platform. Roughly 80 percent of vehicles coming off-lease this year will go through a private-label auction powered by KAR.

Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management Tool Rollout

Managed two teams to roll out an enterprise program portfolio solution across all lines of business.

I worked as a scrum master to roll out an enterprise program portfolio solution at RBC.

• Spearheaded analyzing, describing, improving, and modifying the existing process to fit the requirements of enterprise program portfolio management and applied best practices and market best practices where possible.
• Supported the knowledge transfer to administrators of the tool, testers, business owners, and operational power users under the concept of "teach them how to fish," within the Agile framework.
• Facilitated the program-level agile ceremonies and assisted teams in delivering value and driving relentless improvement.
• Trained agile teams, coached them through onboarding and initial project sprints, and aided team members in developing skills to become self-sufficient.
• Consulted, educated, coached, and mentored agile teams, scrum masters, product owners, DevOps, and management on agile practices for delivering high business value.
• Orchestrated the delivery of Agile-based software deliverables and led the development project team to implement iterative software releases driven by the program.

Platform Organization (PLATO)

Coached a team of engineers and problem-solvers in roles such as enterprise platform engineering and architecture.

Scotiabank's Platform Organization (PLATO) is a development platform that drives velocity, service enablement, and reusability. It's an integrated set of technical products encapsulating critical enterprise capabilities, automated processes, and social architecture to enable high-velocity application development.

The PLATO team comprises engineers, problem solvers, Agilists, and creatives in roles such as enterprise platform engineering and architecture, enterprise data services, cloud infrastructure and architecture, product engineering, and product management. Together, the team provides the platform that enables the bank to deliver transformative customer experiences that help our 25 million customers.

This team of engineers used its public cloud deployments to completely transform how Scotiabank builds new applications and integrates them into business processes. The bank's accelerator product now serves as its integrated development pipeline, which incorporates the required security controls and approvals for code as they move through various stages of production.
1992 - 1994

Master's Degree in International Business

Carleton University - Ottawa, Canada


The SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT)

Scaled Agile


ICAgile-Agile Certified Coach (ICP-ACC)



Jira Align Specialization Bootcamp



SAFe 5 Certified Lean Portfolio Management (LPM)

Scaled Agile, Inc.


Agility Health Facilitator (AHC)

Agile Transformation, Inc.


SAFe 5 Certified Release Train Engineer (RTE)

Scaled Agile, Inc.


SAFe 5 Certified Program Consultant (SPC)

Scaled Agile, Inc.


Certified Scrum Master

Scrum Alliance


Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Institute (PMI)


Trello, Miro, AgileCraft, Lean Testing, VersionOne, CA Project Portfolio Management, Rally, Confluence, HipChat, Slack, Flow, Big Room Planning, Canvas, Microsoft Project, Bitbucket, Jenkins, Splunk, Jira


Azure, Magento, Android, iOS, Docker


Change Management, Azure DevOps, Agile UX, Dual Track Agile, DevOps, Continuous Integration (CI), Design Thinking, Requirements Analysis, Key Performance Metrics, Iterative Design, Iterative Delivery, Iterative Development, Incremental Development, Kanban, Agile, Scrum, Agile Project Management, Organizational Change Management (OCM), B2C

Industry Expertise

Banking & Finance, Automotive


Consulting, Stakeholder Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Stakeholder Analysis, eCommerce, Mobile Apps, CTO, Agile DevOps, Management Consulting, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Organizational Leadership, Structure & Organizational Design, Team Leadership, Estimations, Jira Align, Agile Scaling Frameworks, Process Improvement, Product Management, Waterfall Methodology, Startups, Business Plan Consulting, Lean Startups, Story Mapping, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Lean UX, Lean Canvas, Agile Sprints, Agile Deployment, Agile Coaching, SAFe 4 Advanced Scrum Master, Release Train Engineer (RTE), Lean Experiments, Portfolio Management, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), DevSecOps, Continuous Development (CD), UX Thinking, Systems Thinking, LeanKit, Teams, Coaching, Executive Coaching, Transformational Leadership, Agile Transformation, Business Transformation, Business Agility, Process Transformation, Technology Transformation, Product Discovery, Product Transformation, Digital Transformation, Product Ownership, Product Owner, Certified Trainer, Lean Portfolio Management, Retrospective Techniques, User Journey Maps, User Stories, User Requirements, User Interviews, User Flows, User, Requirements & Specifications, Requirement Traceability Matrices, Business Requirements, SAP BusinessObjects (BO), Business Coaching, Business Analysis, Functional Requirements, Feature Roadmaps, Feature Backlog Prioritization, Backlog Grooming, Backlog Management, Inspections, PI Planning, Spotify, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Metrics, Enterprise Metrics, Vision Development, Product Vision, Product Roadmaps, Roadmaps, Community of Practice, Strategic Planning, Strategic Themes, Strategy, Lean Budgets, Budgeting, Enablement, Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition Canvas, Business Management, Burn-down Charts, Cumulative Flow Diagrams, Project Discovery, Pair Programming, Automated Testing, Gherkin, Collective Code Ownership, Request for Information (RFI), User Journeys, Personas, Guilds, Adapt, Enterprise Product Portfolios, Empathy, Customer Journeys, Business Process Modeling, Project Delivery, Organizational Design, Value Stream Mapping, Continuous Learning, Agile Product Delivery, Agile Program Management, Participatory Budgeting, Business Process Improvement (BPI), Business Process Re-engineering, Business Process Automation, IT Services, Value Stream Management, Risk Management, Project Planning, Request for Proposal (RFP), Operational Excellence, Program Management, Operational Efficiency Improvement, Investment Banking, Trading, Trading Applications, Applications, Less, International Projects, Engineering, HP Fortify, Ansible Tower, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), Google Cloud, AWS DevOps, Refactoring, Business to Consumer (B2C), Training, Business Advisory

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