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POST CONFERENCE REPORT

ACP-2015, ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN


November 14, 2015

By
Najam Farooq Alvi
(Founding Member: Pakistan Agile Development Society)
Agile Conference Pakistan

Contents
1 Event Summary 2

2 Overview 7

3 Conference Program 7
3.1 Achieving technical excellence on an Agile project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.1.1 Presentation Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.2 Agile and Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.2.1 Presentation Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.3 Agile the way forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.3.1 Presentation Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.4 Agile Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.4.1 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.5 Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.5.1 Presentation Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.6 Panel Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.6.1 Panelists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

4 Audience Feedback Statistics 17

5 Online Resources 18

6 Special Thanks 18

7 Contact Information 18

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1 Event Summary
Event Name:
Agile Conference Pakistan (ACP2015)

Theme:
Agile Culture in Pakistan

Date:
14th November, 2015

Organizing Committee
Dr. Imran Ghani (Chairman Pakistan Agile Development Society) www.pads.pk

Najam Alvi (Country Manager at Zeropoint) https://zeropoint.be

Naveed Ramzan (Senior Developer at Zeropoint) https://zeropoint.be

Rizwan Abbas (Senior Developer Zeropoint) https://zeropoint.be

Jawad Hussain (Drupal Developer at Zeropoint) https://zeropoint.be

Kashif Mueen (CTO Zigron Pvt Ltd) http://www.zigron.com/

Barkan Saeed (CEO Vizteck Solutions) http://vizteck.com

Suhail Iqbal (CEO SysComp International) http://www.syscompk.com/

Khurram Shahzad (CEO GoldBar Tech) http://www.goldbartech.com/

Babar Ali (Engineering Head GSM Nation LLC) http://www.gsmnation.com/

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Event Sponsors:
Platinum Sponsors
Zeropoint Pvt Ltd https://zeropoint.be
Scrum Alliance https://www.scrumalliance.org/

Gold Sponsors
Zigron Pvt Ltd http://www.zigron.com/
Vizteck Solutions http://vizteck.com
SysComp International http://www.syscompk.com/
GoldBar Tech http://www.goldbartech.com/
Discretelogix http://www.discretelogix.com/
PMI Islamabad http://pmiislamabad.org/
EVERYTHING.PK http://www.everything.pk/
Hotel Grand Regency http://www.grandregencyhotels.com/

Venue:
Hotel Grand Regency Murree Road Islamabad, Pakistan

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Event Affiliation:
Tesla Amazing https://teslaamazing.com/

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Participants:
223 Professionals registered for the event and 140 attended the full day session.

Company Name Participants Remarks


Bentley Systems 3
Business Analytics 8
Code Enterprise 2
Discretelogix 10
Elixir 8
Enterprise DB 8
Individuals 27
Intelligentsia 3
Makkays 2
Organizers 8
PMI-Islamabad 10
Smart IS 14
Speakers 7
SysComp 2
Target Systems 4
VizTeck 3
Volunteers 4
Zeropoint 5 One guest from Belgium
Zigron 9 One guest from USA
Supporting Staff 2

Table 1: Participants List

Profession Participants
Development Field 74
Testing Field 18
Scrum Certified 5
PMP Certified 9

Table 2: Participation by professions

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Experience Participants
Less than 3 Years 14
3 - 5 Years 31
6 - 10 Years 35
10+ Years 12

Table 3: Participants Experience

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2 Overview
The Agile Conference Pakistan (ACP2015) was held in Islamabad on November 14, 2015.
The conference was an outcome of the efforts of Pakistan Agile Development Society
(www.pads.pk) working for the betterment of Pakistan IT industry by promoting Ag-
ile development practices, sharing experiences and collaborating for new ideas for better
project delivery by using Agile development approach in Pakistan.
The theme for the conference was “Agile Culture in Pakistan“. The Conference pro-
gram addressed the core cultural barriers faced by the IT industry while adopting Agile
development methodology. Another aspect was to let the professionals from the industry
share their experiences they faced while adopting Agile development approach specifically
within Pakistan. The cultural aspect was well focused by speakers and they highlighted
the issues very well as well as proposed the solutions to handle them with the cultural
limitations.
The conference attracted 223 registrations and 140 Participants attended the confer-
ence as compared to the initial target of 100 participants which was a huge increase in
participant’s numbers as compared to last year (2014) conference.
Participants included the researchers, project managers, developers, testers and stu-
dents. Representatives from the major IT companies across Pakistan proved the people
interest for learning, sharing and fixing the problems faced by the IT sector. The pres-
ence of guests from Belgium and US gave the conference another dimension by letting the
stake-holders understand the cultural aspect of IT industry in Pakistan.
Presentations covered topics such as Agile culture in an organization, Technical excel-
lence, Agile the way forward, Agile Testing, Emotional intelligence which was followed by
a panel discussion about Agile principles in Pakistan by the industry experts.
The objective of the conference was well achieved by knowledge sharing through pre-
sentations but also by attracting good number of participants and a networking session
during the lunch & tea breaks.

3 Conference Program
The conference program included 4 speakers and 3 presenters. The speakers choose variety
of topics to cover the all the aspects of conference themes. The detail of topics is as follow:

• Achieving technical excellence on an Agile project

• Agile culture

• Agile the way forward

• Agile testing

• Emotional intelligence and project management

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• Agile principles in Pakistan

Key note speaker included:

• Ather Imran (Sybrid Pvt Ltd)

The formal session was started by Kashif Ur Rehman with a welcome note which was
followed by recitation of Holy quran by Babar Ali. The Conference provided a learning
opportunity to the professionals from Pakistan software industry. This also helped to
understand the cultural barriers involved while implementing the Agile in an organization.

3.1 Achieving technical excellence on an Agile project


Conference was initiated by Adeel Ali who talked about achieving technical excellence
on Agile project. He started his presentation with 1 definition about technical excellence
which states ”in an agile project, technical excellence is measured by both capacity to
deliver customer value today and create an adaptable product for tomorrow.”
In his opinion technical excellence can only be achieved by responding to change over
following a plan. Adeel explained that the responding to change is directly proportional to
technical excellence. The more rapidly you respond to change the more technical excellence
you will achieve.
While elaborating further he quoted Agile manifesto ninth principle about technical
excellence and good design which enhances agility. Building a right software means it has
a simple design, is maintainable and flexible. Successful software needs to be able to evolve
to meet expanding needs.
Even Scrum practices will not give you excellent results if you gave less importance
to technical excellence. Technical practices plays an important role and you have to take
them seriously. Less importance means the Scrum is flaccid and the transformation from
flaccid to awesome can can only be achieved by maintaining a high quality on both ends
(Developer facing as well as customer facing).

Software cost model, process dependencies, test driven development, TDD maturity
model and practices & process were the core point of his presentation fully supporting his
talk about technical excellence in an Agile project.
1
Jim Highsmith

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3.1.1 Presentation Summary


• Ability to deliver customer value today and create adaptable product for tomorrow.

• Responding to change.

• Continuous technical excellence can only be possible by good design which leads to
agility.

• Build in right perspective.

• Complex problem and simple solution.

• Scrum becomes flaccid scrum in the absence of technical excellence.

• Maintain internal and external quality.

• Test first approach.

• Test driven development model.

• Maturity model (SHU HA RI)

3.2 Agile and Culture


Ather Imran as a key note speaker delivered the speech about Agile and Culture. He
explained the Agile transformation using the golden circle ”Why How and What”. He
explained that people are more loyal to culture then to Strategy or process. Tactics,
Strategy and process are only visible part within an organization the real ice berg hidden
below the water line in the form of culture. Without addressing organizational culture the
strategy can never be set right.
Understanding the organizational culture is important before adopting the Agile pro-
cess as Agile is totally dependent on willingness of people to be more collaborative and
interactive and ready to respond to change which is core thought of Agile process. Agile
mostly deals with the change and uncertainty and allows you to manage the complexities
in better way.
An Agile organization is one whose culture is based on the Agile values. Within an
organization values plays an important role in achieving the target culture for the Successful
delivery of complex projects.
Further he shared the survey2 results which was conducted in 2014. The survey was
focused on ”Why organizations are choosing Agile?” 59% of survey participants responded
that they choose Agile to accelerate project delivery.
2
9th Annual state of Agile survey

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In an other survey topic about ”What causes Agile projects to fail?” In which 42% of
result showed that the failure of Agile projects was due to the mismatch of organizational
culture and core Agile values.

Reasons Results
Lack of experience with agile methods 44%
Company philosophy or culture at odds with core agile values 42%
Lack of management support 38%
External pressure to follow traditional waterfall processes 37%
Lack of support for cultural transition 36%

Table 4: Top five causes to agile project failure

Where as the survey results about ”Barrier to further Agile adoption” shows that 44%
saw the ability to change organizational culture as the biggest challenge.

Reasons Results
Ability to change organizational culture 44%
Not enough personnel with necessary agile experience 35%
General organizational resistance to change 34%

Table 5: Top three barriers to further Agile adoption

While encouraging the audience to think and evaluate their respective organizational
culture he introduces the Schneider culture model which is based on collaboration and
cultivation at most. The model focuses less on control without undermining the importance
of technical excellence in the form of competence.
At the end he discussed about the transformation and adoption of Agile culture which is
a methodical, incremental and evolutionary process. The transformation can be conducive
or non conducive and depending upon the diagnosis results.
Non conducive environments need management buy in and cellular model can be used
for a complete transformation where as in case of conducive environments use Agile man-
ifesto and principles with incremental and evolutionary approach.

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3.2.1 Presentation Summary


• The golden circle.

• Culture eats strategy.

• People are more loyal to culture.

• Bringing the change into people life.

• Why agile culture is important for an organization

• Agile manifesto and principles

• Evaluating target culture for handling complex projects.

• Agile succeed due to culture.

• Schneider model (collaboration, cultivation, competence, control)

• Evolution vs revolution

• Cellular model

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3.3 Agile the way forward


After the tea break the next speech was from Suhail Iqbal. He started the session with a
social network activity focused on do more with less in which all the participant were asked
to exchange their business cards within 2 minutes. The winners (got maximum number of
cards) had a selfie with speaker as reward.
After the activity he discussed ”Agile the way forward” by comparing LEAN and Agile
and sharing the concept of LeAgile. LeAgile can be implemented in non-conventional
industries as well.
Agile projects are more focused on speed and flexibility and how quickly a team can
reacts to changing requirements where as LEAN focuses on removing the waste.
Some of similarities between Agile and LEAN are that Agile focused on customer
satisfaction where as LEAN focused on customer value, Agile focus on simplicity whereas
LEAN focuses on eliminating waste ultimately the goal of both approaches is to facilitate
the customer.
LeAgile uses the best of both approaches and both systems are lean by nature. Both
focus on decreasing waste and increasing productivity.
His talk was mostly about using Agile in non conventional industries by mixing it up
with LEAN which can produce following benefits for businesses:

? Reduce waste in non-conventional projects

? Make them much more efficient and profitable

? Can be fast and flexible

? Saving enormously on time and cost

? Satisfy our stakeholders and

? Be able to sell more

3.3.1 Presentation Summary


◦ Introduction LEAN and Agile

◦ What is Lean Agile?

◦ Challenges in conventional industries.

◦ Project break down

◦ Scrum master vs PM (SM is classical servant)

◦ LEAN vs Agile (philosophy vs working model)

◦ Best possible way to use both all together

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◦ Lean explanation

◦ LeAgile model

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3.4 Agile Testing


Before the lunch break the last presentation was Agile Testing by Majd Uddin. The
speech was well orchestrated, knowledgeable and well demonstrated. He briefly introduced
the audience to Agile testing and move to the advance concepts.
The changes are coming in a very fast pace now a days. The only possibility to deliver
and maintain the quality software is through more tests.
The concept of Testing quadrants was very well explained which was much liked and
appreciated by the audience. All the testing involved for prototypes, UX testing, unit
tests, performance, security and scalability can never be ignored. The heavy base of unit
testing is the only way in an Agile project to deliver better quality software.
After explaining the four testing quadrants he initiated an activity in which he requested
the audience to draw the testing model of their organization.
He emphasized that the testing is the role and responsibility of every single member of
the team in Agile. With the help of three amigos he explained that how customers, testers
and developers need to collaborate right from the beginning in an Agile project. The
involvement of testers right from beginning and their collaboration and communication
with customer has same level of importance as software developers. Audience participated
in the topic by drawing their own testing amigos.
The automation testing pyramid foundation is based on large numbers of unit tests
followed by acceptance test, GUI test and then manual tests which maximizes the ROI.
While concluding his speech he highlighted the real spirit of Agile testing with the help
of testing manifesto:

? Testing through out instead over testing at end.

? Preventing bugs over finding bugs.

? Team responsibility over tester responsibility.

3.4.1 Summary
◦ Accepting change is the essence of Agile.

◦ Define test strategy.

◦ Agile testing quadrants.

◦ Testing is a role (every one’s job).

◦ Testing amigos.

◦ Automatic testing pyramid.

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3.5 Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient


After a luxurious lunch & refreshment break the session started with Mohsin Lodhi talk
about Emotional intelligence (Emotional Quotient). His huge experience in coaching lead-
ership courses all over the world, he presented a very complex topic in such a way that
enable the audience to understand it very well. Later it was proved by audience feedback
that placed his session on the top of the the list.
With the help of modern research studies he explained the importance of EQ and
its role in success. EQ and self awareness are two key enablers for social awareness and
relationship management. His clear guidelines and tips are so relevant to Agile values
which demand a collaborative and communicative approach within team. EQ is all about
using emotions smartly, being honest, being aware about others & yourself feelings which
ultimately resulted into better performance and team results. In Agile teams relations
played an important role in success and EQ is the right tool to cultivate harmony and
good relations within team.
He explained that emotional information can be used successfully to guide thinking
and behavior. Better team work, 3 times productivity gain, better conversation, good
management and leadership skills are some of the fruits of investing into EQ. At the same
time 75% of the cases in career growth are failed due to lack of EQ, trust and inability to
handle interpersonal problems.

3.5.1 Presentation Summary


◦ Why EI?

◦ EI and competencies

◦ IQ versus EQ

◦ EQ benefits

◦ How to raise EQ

◦ PM new story do more with less by doing self management. self awareness (strengths
and weakness), self control, managing self emotions, behaving, relationship manage-
ment,

◦ Adaptability, service oriented (contribute), know your organization, develop others

◦ Leadership to deal with people, growing the people, change catalyst, conflict man-
agement & influencing people

◦ PM ability to build relationship, build effective team (results), change management,


result oriented.

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3.6 Panel Discussion


Before the closing ceremony the last session was a panel discussion. Participant were well
know IT professionals and Entrepreneurs from the capital city of Islamabad.
They discussed about the Agile principles in Pakistan. The ultimate goal was to identify
the challenges faced by the companies while adopting Agile in Pakistan and share the
experience how to overcome them.
The participants proposed that empowering people, removing workplace restrictions,
changing the mind set w.r.t empowerment and recognition of failure as tool can overcome
the challenges. Failures should not be discouraged rather it must be used as tool to learn
and improve. Investing into people, providing them training and then setting up right
goals are key factors for a successful business.
Our culture promotes command and control where as Agile denies it. Increasing the
capabilities to collaborate and being self organized are also the key contributors. Right
environment and right culture with accountability within team and organization need to
be improved. Agile accepts the change and we need to be prepare for change.

3.6.1 Panelists
◦ Barkan Saeed (CEO Vizteck)

◦ Kashif Mueen (CTO Zigron)

◦ Nauman Faridi (VP at Digital Processing Lab)

◦ Owais Anjum (President Open Islamabad)

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4 Audience Feedback Statistics


We received 106 feedback forms out of 137 audience.

Category Results
Emotional Intelligence 94.37%
Agile Culture 93.67%
Agile Testing 89.03%
Pre-Conference information 84.46%
Panel discussion 83.77%
About refreshment & venue 78.21%
Agile the way forward 77.29%
About Host 66.45%

Table 6: Audience Feedback

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5 Online Resources
You can find all the resources related to conference at:

Conference day photos ACP2015 Gallery

Speakers presentations ACP2015 Speakers Contents

Blog posts Post 1 and Post 2

6 Special Thanks
We (Pakistan Agile Development Society) are thankful to the speakers, organizers, spon-
sors, participants and affiliates.

We would like to specially recognize our platinum sponsors Scrum Alliance and Zero-
point.be for their full support and provision of resources to make this event successful.

7 Contact Information
You can reach the author of this report at Author and Pakistan Agile Development Society
at PADS Contact

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