The Groningen Digital Business Center (GDBC) of the University of Groningen brings talented students into contact with companies. For example, they create internships, set up student consultancy assignments and develop so-called learning communities. Within a learning community, students, teachers and companies exchange knowledge and expertise by carrying out joint assignments. In the spring of 2019, the GDBC organized the Learning Community Agile in collaboration with Quintop. A great success, according to the parties involved.
Project leader of the GDBC Bas Baalmans and Wilco Bontenbal, partner of Quintop, bundled their knowledge and experience and together developed the program around the Agile community. “In four meetings we introduced the students to the theory and at the same time we also wanted to show them how Agile is applied in practice,” says Bontenbal. As a result, two company visits are planned to DUO and ING.
Bachelor student Thijs Becker took part in the learning community and found this a very valuable addition to his study: “the interaction made the meetings very interesting. The material about Agile is quite dry, but with the help of the exercises and practical examples I got a clear idea of what it entails. ”For example, the students worked in teams on a case in which one team used a traditional method and the other team applied the Agile method. The latter turned out to be a lot more efficient.” “I went into it critically and wondered what Agile could really bring to an organization, but it positively surprised me.”
“Thanks to the learning community, I found out in what kind of company you can apply Agile and when this method is effective and when not”, says master student Julius Jelsma. In addition, the students were given the opportunity to obtain their Professional Scrum Master certificate. “Being able to obtain such a certificate is extremely useful and motivating. There is a good chance that we as FEB students will soon be in a position in which you have to work with an Agile team. ”
ING benefited from input from the students
Not only the students have benefited from the learning community. Bontenbal indicates that the discussions have also given him new insights. “Students ask different questions than people in the business world and that helps me to put things back into perspective.” In addition, it can be very beneficial for companies to find a direct connection with students in this way, he explains. “I can certainly recommend other organizations to participate in a learning community.”
Richard Procee, Agile Coach at ING, agrees. During one of the meetings he came to explain how Agile is applied within ING and the students could see this for themselves during a visit to the office in Leeuwarden. In addition, two students carried out an assignment in collaboration with Procee and that yielded a desired result. “We needed a theoretical framework from the University of Groningen and the students were particularly good at living through this theory. That was very interesting, because we don’t always think about this anymore. ”
2nd series start in February!
The second Learning Community Agile will start in the spring of 2020. For this purpose, this time a collaboration has also been started with the Police department in the North of the Netherlands, who have an issue/case ready for the students. Interested in participating in a learning community with your company? Please reach out to contact Marjan van Ittersum (Project Leader Learning Communities), Bas Baalmans (Project Leader Groningen Digital Business Center) or Wilco Bontenbal (Partner Quintop Management Consultants).