Umar Ali, Project Manager in Toronto, ON, Canada
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Umar Ali

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
Toronto, ON, Canada
Toptal Member Since
June 25, 2021

Umar has over 13 years of experience in the technology industry, focusing on Agile methodologies. He has worked with small and large organizations to deliver high-value products. Umar leverages Agile ways of working to improve software quality and push for the implementation of automation tools, process improvement, and cultural improvement that eventually allows for self-organizing teams, remote, onsite, and offshore, to flourish.

Project Highlights

Agile Transformation for a Remote Healthtech Organization
Introduced an Agile mindset at various levels of the organization, which led to an increase in quality and reduced delivery of new features from months to weeks.
Agile Transformation for a Large Enterprise Organization
Trained and guided teams on adopting Agile best practices in a transition from Waterfall to Agile, which led to a significant increase in quality (30 UAT bugs vs. 500 UAT bugs) and reduction in time to market (3-4 months).
Gamified Video-streaming Platform BitMovio | Agile Project Delivery
Launched a consumer (web and mobile) MVP in four months with over 1,000 users and enhanced it every two weeks with incremental updates and delivered the accompanying web and mobile apps; BitMovio was later acquired by 1091 Pictures.

Expertise

Work Experience

Agile Program Manager | Senior Scrum Master

2023 - PRESENT
Fiix by Rockwell Automation
  • Coached and worked with multiple scrum teams in a Large-scale Scrum (LeSS) environment, helping them embrace agile working and problem-solving methods to improve time to delivery and predictability.
  • Facilitated scrum events (scrum, planning, retros) and collaborated with other scrum masters to improve visibility at the program level within Fiix and the broader Rockwell organization.
  • Collaborated with multiple business units across Rockwell Automation, tracking progress through team and program-level agile metrics.

Agile Coach | Scrum Master

2022 - 2023
Ada
  • Facilitated Agile ceremonies, such as daily stand-up meetings, sprint planning, and retrospectives.
  • Assisted and guided the product owner in defining and prioritizing user stories and backlog items.
  • Guided and coached the team continuously to foster an Agile mindset. This led to more predictability and reduced time for delivery.

Scrum Master | Project Manager

2021 - 2023
Americana Technologies
  • Joined the team as a project manager to help the company define its project and product management processes. Successfully set up Notion and Monday.com as project management and documentation tools.
  • Took on the role of agile coach and scrum master as the team grew. Guided the team on Agile values and principles and leveraged Scrum to build and release an MVP.
  • Assumed the role of product owner and defined user stories and epics. Worked with stakeholders to define acceptance criteria and collaborated with the chief strategy officer in user discovery activities.

Agile Coach | Scrum Master

2021 - 2022
Power Diary
  • Trained C-level team members on the Agile mindset, methodologies, and practices via regular workshops. Coached team members, including C-level executives, on product development best practices.
  • Coached and facilitated story refinement meetings between the product and engineering teams.
  • Facilitated user story mapping sessions to map out features and identify missing use cases for new features.
  • Conducted workshops on relative estimation methods such as t-shirt sizing and story pointing. Guided the team on various ways of breaking down user stories.
  • Participated in various implementations of Agile and Lean methodologies, such as Scrum and Kanban.
  • Identified, audited, and reviewed potential areas of improvement in the product development and engineering processes.

Scrum Master | Senior Project Manager

2020 - 2021
EMPG Labs
  • Spearheaded Scrum and Kanban agile practices in various CRM sub-teams by implementing best practices and process tailoring to improve team culture and performance.
  • Led and maintained a legacy application across five regions and developed a modern CRM application and a modern mobile app built on an updated technology stack, adhering to product management best practices.
  • Performed conflict resolution, team reviews, and appraisals. Interviewed and hired new team members.

Scrum Master | Senior Project Manager

2017 - 2020
NorthBay Solutions
  • Championed the adoption of Scrum best practices for numerous teams throughout the end-to-end project lifecycle from inception, requirements analysis, development, and project closure and delivery.
  • Led process improvements and changes as a scrum master and agile coach for Fortune 500 organizations.
  • Defined and delivered multiple high-value MVPs within budget in three to six months.
  • Upheld, while working as an agile coach, scrum master, and product manager, a culture of self-organization, which led to teams flourishing and delivering maximum value.
  • Managed and coordinated geographically dispersed teams and stakeholders across multiple time zones, like PST, CST, EST, GMT, PKT, IST, and AEDT.

Scrum Master | Project Manager

2012 - 2017
NETSOL Technologies
  • Guided over five individual teams and provided organizational training and guidance on transforming Waterfall to Scrum and Disciplined Agile.
  • Created and implemented effective strategies to improve the organization's development processes and increase organizational agility, which improved the quality of the primary finance and leasing product.
  • Drove five initiatives that oversaw the implementation of modern tools and practices, such as static code analysis, continuous integration, and UI prototyping.

Agile Transformation for a Remote Healthtech Organization

Introduced an Agile mindset at various levels of the organization, which led to an increase in quality and reduced delivery of new features from months to weeks.

I trained C-level team members on the Agile mindset, methodologies, and practices and coached and facilitated story refinement meetings between the product and engineering teams.

Introduced product management best practices and championed hiring a dedicated product manager.

Additionally, I facilitated user story mapping sessions to map out features and identify missing use cases for new features and successfully implemented Scrum for two self-managing teams.

Agile Transformation for a Large Enterprise Organization

Trained and guided teams on adopting Agile best practices in a transition from Waterfall to Agile, which led to a significant increase in quality (30 UAT bugs vs. 500 UAT bugs) and reduction in time to market (3-4 months).

I guided individual teams and the organizational training and guided the transformation from Waterfall to Agile, Scrum, and Kanban. I also effectively developed and implemented strategies to improve the organization’s development processes and increase organizational agility.

I championed the effort to convert numerous projects at NETSOL from Waterfall to Agile Scrum and Disciplined Agile—this led to a 50% increase in productivity, 68% increase in profitability, a significant reduction in time to market (up to 3-4 months) as well as a drastic increase in overall quality (30 UAT bugs vs. 500 UAT bugs).

Gamified Video-streaming Platform BitMovio | Agile Project Delivery

https://youtu.be/rHLmCb21cus

Launched a consumer (web and mobile) MVP in four months with over 1,000 users and enhanced it every two weeks with incremental updates and delivered the accompanying web and mobile apps; BitMovio was later acquired by 1091 Pictures.

I managed a development team of six, which also included developers and QA, to deliver an MVP for a gamified video streaming platform.

I also worked as an agile coach to educate the team and the client on how to prioritize and deliver high value in regular increments. Stakeholder and expectation management were also part of my responsibilities.

BitMovio had over 1,000 web and mobile users. For this project, we developed a web app using React and a mobile app using React Native and AWS services.

Scrum Master for Invesco | S&P 500 Organization

Managed a cross-regional remote team across seven time zones (PST, CST, EST, GMT, PKT, IST, and AEDT) to improve team collaboration, communication, and coordination while promoting Agile Scrum best practices.

I managed a team of eight individuals across multiple time zones (including PST, CST, EST, GMT, PKT, IST, AEDT) and coordinated with individuals from the broader global organization.

I worked as a scrum master and agile coach to improve the adoption of Agile and coordination across a geographically dispersed team.

The adoption of Agile best practices led to increased quality, reduced production bugs, and more efficient team coordination.

Multi-tenant SaaS Application for Measure | Agile Project Delivery

Developed a multi-tenant SaaS application over the course of eight months and delivered regular increments in two weeks for internal testing purposes.

I led a team of eight, including developers and QAs, to deliver a drone-as-a-service application for a US-based organization. It provides drone service, topological details, and inspection information for energy providers.

We adopted an Agile Scrum approach to regularly refine our product backlog to deliver features for internal testing every two weeks. I led the development and delivery of the application from its discovery phase to completion.

Next-generation App Development for the P\S\L Group

Provided back-end APIs in Python for a next-generation enterprise application used by PSL Group and set up the DevOps infrastructure.

I managed a team of eight developers to set up a modern DevOps infrastructure using AWS services. We also used Python to build the back-end APIs for their next-generation enterprise application, established automated code deployment pipelines, and migrated their current processes to a modern AWS infrastructure.

The project was successfully delivered after an eight-month period.

QA Automation Framework MVP for Invesco | S&P 500 Organization

Led the development effort for a customer QA automation framework for Invesco (S&P 500) using Agile Scrum best practices, resulting in 50% of enterprise application use cases being successfully automated.

I managed a team of eight engineers (two front end, six back end) using React and Python to develop a QA automation framework for an enterprise data lake application.

The MVP was successfully delivered within four months and was then deployed to production.
2010 - 2011

Master's Degree in Information Systems and Management

Warwick Business School - Coventry, England

2004 - 2008

Bachelor's Degree in Business Information Technology

Curtin University of Technology - Perth, Australia

MARCH 2022 - PRESENT

Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO)

Scrum Alliance

MARCH 2022 - PRESENT

Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM)

Scrum Alliance

AUGUST 2021 - PRESENT

Certified Scrum Master

Scrum Alliance

APRIL 2021 - PRESENT

Certified Agile Leadership — Essentials and Organizations

Scrum Alliance

APRIL 2021 - PRESENT

Certified Aware Leader

Agile Leadership Journey

FEBRUARY 2020 - PRESENT

Certified Scrum@Scale Practitioner

Scrum@Scale

OCTOBER 2019 - PRESENT

Scrum Certified Product Owner (CSPO)

Scrum Alliance

Tools

Slack, Zoom, Jira, Confluence, Atlassian Suite, Asana, Google Docs, Figma, Atlassian

Paradigms

Agile Leadership, Scrum, Management, Agile, Agile Project Management, Agile Product Management, Agile Software Development, Implementation Project Management, Agile Workflow, Agile Delivery, Kanban, Iterative Delivery, Iterative Development, Requirements Analysis, Waterfall Development, B2C, Lean, B2B, Change Management, Rapid Prototyping

Platforms

iOS, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Blockchain, Monday.com

Other

Team Management, Agile Coaching, Business Process Re-engineering, Business Process Refinement, Remote Work, Stakeholder Management, Expectations Management, Scrum Master, IT Project Management, Scrum Coaching, Google Apps, Microsoft Office, Mentorship & Coaching, Client Presentations, Custom Solutions, Project Management, Mobile Applications, Web & Mobile Applications, Agile Program Management, Web Applications, Digital Project Management, Software Development, Business Process Improvement (BPI), Business Plan Consulting, Software Project Management, Cross-functional Collaboration, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Team Leadership, Project Delivery, Hybrid Frameworks, Hybrid Project Management, Leadership, Timelines, PMO, Delivery Management, Risk Management, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Agile Sprints, Sprint Planning, IT Projects, Status Updates, Agile Practices, User Stories, Sprint Ceremonies, Agile Product Delivery, Sprint Retrospectives, Project Scheduling, Scrumban, Planning, Project Tracking, Project Reporting, Issue Management, Conflict Resolution, Agile Transformation, ClickUp, Consulting, Solution Design, Mobile UX, Mobile UI, Mobile Development, Mobile App Development, Estimation & Planning, Project Planning, Project Estimation, Project Timelines, Staffing, Distributed Team Management, Waterfall Methodology, SaaS, Startups, Process Improvement Project Management, Software as a Service (SaaS), Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Feature Backlog Prioritization, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Business to Business (B2B), Release Management, Backlog Management, Mobile Apps, QA Testing, Coaching, Web UX, Web Design, Web Project Management, Web Development, Marketplaces, User Experience (UX), Product Management, Agile Scaling Frameworks, Scrum@Scale, Product Ownership, Scrum Product Owner, Information Technology, Programming, Business, Business Information Systems, Process Flows, Microsoft Teams, Product Roadmaps, Early-stage Startups, CRM Systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Technical Project Management, ZenHub, Lean Startups, Video on Demand (VOD), Flutter, Strategic Planning, Direct to Consumer (D2C), Backlog Grooming, Project Management & Delivery, IT Services, QA Automation, Scrum Testing, User Interface (UI), UI Design, Product Owner, Story Mapping, Mentorship, Requirements & Specifications, Project Discovery, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Hardware Development, Consumer Electronics, Best Practices, Roadmaps, Product Discovery, Process Improvement, Media, Video Streaming, Less, Large-scale Scrum (LeSS), AI Chatbots

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