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#ACP17 by #AgilePK - Event Report!

Agile has revolutionized the way projects are being delivered around the globe and it has proven itself to be both adaptable and result oriented. Initially intended for technology development, Agile is now being adopted by other industries to get things done and build cross functional and self-organizing teams. Our local industry is not far behind and we have numerous Agile practitioners working on different process models within and outside the tech industry. These practitioners gather around every year for Agile Conference Pakistan which now happened for the fourth year in a row and was organized by Pakistan Agile Development Society.

The conference theme was “Scrum in Pakistan” and the venue was a beautiful auditorium (Shah Abdul Lateef Bhittai Auditorium) in the capital city. It was a full day event with 300+ professionals in attendance from all major cities and the speakers/panelist were known Agile practitioners working in the technology industry.

I went all the way from Karachi to attend the conference on an invitation by Naveed Ramzan (Executive Director, Pakistan Agile Development Society)The event was well organized and the proceedings were followed according to the decided agenda. The event started with Suhail Iqbal’s (Chairman, Agile Development Society Pakistan) speech, in which he talked about the #AgilePK society, its vision, mission and future plans. 

The conference keynote was by Naveed Khawaja (Agile Trainer, Xecofy Business Transformation) and it was one of the highlights of the event. He spoke about purpose, productivity and self-improvement in both personal and professional spheres. In his talk, he showed examples of how Kanban can be used in personal life and spoke about his experience of training his kids to manage their daily activities via a Kanban board.
The next session was by Khurram Ali (Director Of Software Development, BroadPeak Technologies) and Syed Ahsan Ahmed (Project Manager, BroadPeak Technologies) about "Writing & Managing SCRUM Requirements", they talked in detail about different requirement writing methods and especially about writing, prioritizing and managing User Stories. The talk was followed by a tea and networking break.

The next session was by Muneeb Ali (Co-Founder & Director Product Delivery, ClickChain Inc) and the topic was "Successful Product Management in SCRUM". He discussed User Story Mapping, Release Planning and the role of a Product Owner in a SCRUM team.
Next up on stage was Ibrahim, an MS student from Peshawar, who presented his research paper on the use of Agile in technology companies nationwide. He was very enthusiastic about his work and his presentation was very well received.
Sumara Farooq (SQA Lead and Agile Coach at Five Rivers Technologies) took the stage for her talk on “What Scrum means to your Organization”, the focus of discussion was how teams can embrace the culture of adaptability, responsibility and transparency and how team leads/change agents can help achieve the desired outcome. Her talk was followed by a lunch and prayer break.
Owais Ashraf (Director Software Services, Contour Software) was next up with his talk on "Kanban & Scrum - making the most of both", he highlighted the similarities and differences between the two process models and how organizations can achieve better results by embracing the one that suits their context better. His talk was interactive and he kept the audience engaged by asking them questions and taking their comments.
The conference has only one panel discussion, hosted by Majd Uddin (Manager Software Quality, Bentley Systems) and the topic was “Scrum Implementation and tips & tricks with respect to our IT Industry”, he was joined on stage by Naeem Iqbal (Project Manager, National Database and Registration Authority), Naveed Khawaja (Agile Trainer, Xecofy Business Transformation), Faisal Tajammul (VP - Technology Services at Systems Limited) and Shaima Niaz (Senior Software Quality Automation Engineer, TkXel). The discussion lasted an hour and they took questions from the audience and from the live twitter feed.
The last talk was by Mohsin Lodhi (IFC World bank Certified Trainer) and he spoke about Servant Leadership. His talk was really interactive and despite being the final session of the conference, the audience sent a lot of questions his way.
The conference speakers, organizers and volunteers were given mementos and certificates and a feedback form was also given at the start of the conference which was collected at the end. I was live tweeting the conference along with NoorJehan Arif (Co-Founder, Mushawar Consulting) and a couple of other volunteers and both of the conference hashtags (#AgilePK, #ACP17) were trending in Pakistan for hours. You can see the conference coverage here.

All in all, it was a knowledge-packed day and Naveed and his team kept everything in  precise order, it was without doubt a job well done!

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