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

Project Manager in Toronto, ON, Canada

Member since June 10, 2021
Umar has over thirteen years of experience in the technology industry with a focus 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.
Umar is now available for hire

Project Highlights

Employment

  • Agile Coach and Scrum Master

    2021 - PRESENT
    Power Diary
    • Trained C-level team members on 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 for 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.
  • Agile Project Manager and Scrum Master

    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.
  • Agile Project Manager and Scrum Master

    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 the 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 thanks to which teams flourished and delivered maximum value.
    • Managed and coordinated geographically dispersed teams and stakeholders across multiple time zones, like PST, CST, EST, GMT, PKT, IST, and AEDT.
  • Agile Coach and Scrum Master

    2014 - 2017
    NETSOL Technologies
    • Guided over five individual teams and provided organizational training and guidance on the transformation from Waterfall to Scrum and Disciplined agile.
    • Created and implemented effective strategies to improve the organization’s development processes and increase organizational agility, which bettered 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.
  • Assistant Project Manager

    2012 - 2013
    Infinnova Technologies
    • Worked in tandem with the client and development team to ensure the timely development of custom software applications, including a mobile banking application that was aimed at developing markets.
    • Collaborated with the head of the customer solutions department and visited client sites for requirements, gathering and presenting proposed software solutions.
    • Advocated the adoption of the traditional waterfall method for software development with incremental cycles.
  • Pre-sales HP Software Specialist

    2008 - 2009
    Multilynx
    • Provided consultation services as well as software solution design and development, using HP’s Business Technology Optimization Portfolio.
    • Analyzed client problems and devised solutions that would resolve these problems, addressing any long-term strategic goals.
    • Created and presented over five solutions for network and server management.

Project History

  • Agile Transformation for Remote Health Tech Organisation
    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.

    Trained C-level team members on agile mindset, methodologies, and practices. Coached and facilitated story refinement meetings between the product and engineering teams.

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

    I facilitated user story mapping sessions to map out features and identify missing use cases for new features.

    I also 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
    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 users for web and mobile. 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 the 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; using this, 50% of enterprise application use cases were 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.

Education

  • Master's Degree in Information Systems and Management
    2010 - 2011
    Warwick Business School - Coventry, England
  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Information Technology
    2004 - 2008
    Curtin University of Technology - Perth, Australia

Certifications

  • Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO)
    MARCH 2022 - PRESENT
    Scrum Alliance
  • Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM)
    MARCH 2022 - PRESENT
    Scrum Alliance
  • Certified Scrum Master
    AUGUST 2021 - PRESENT
    Scrum Alliance
  • Certified Agile Leadership — Essentials and Organizations
    APRIL 2021 - PRESENT
    Scrum Alliance
  • Certified Aware Leader
    APRIL 2021 - PRESENT
    Agile Leadership Journey
  • Certified Scrum@Scale Practitioner
    FEBRUARY 2020 - PRESENT
    Scrum@Scale
  • Scrum Certified Product Owner (CSPO)
    OCTOBER 2019 - PRESENT
    Scrum Alliance

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