BESTSELLER improves the skills of their employees with ‘flipped learning’

Several employees at BESTSELLER TECH have undertaken an extended course of ‘flipped learning’, where they have alternated between online learning on their own and physical workshops alongside their colleagues. All of it facilitated by Syndicate.

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Gorm Ruge



min read

April 26, 2023

Over the course of a year, Product Owners and Scrum Masters at BESTSELLER TECH have regularly taken a very strong cocktail, all without getting drunk on anything but new and useful knowledge.

Syndicate calls the concept Agile Onboarding, and in this case, the cocktail has consisted of a solid blend of online learning mixed with a dash of physical sessions, where the theory from the online courses have been discussed with colleagues and connected to their everyday challenges.

BESTSELLER TECH, a part of the larger BESTSELLER group, is responsible for the maintenance and development of all the group’s digital platforms – everything from the individual work computer to the big complex storage systems.

In this article, Anne Engholm, Senior People Business Partner in BESTSELLER TECH, talks about the process of educating 30 Product Owners and 15 Scrum Masters across countries and locations in Brande, Aarhus and Malaga. All Product Owners received a year’s worth of access to an online streaming universe with the courses Product Owner Online and Product Discovery Online. Likewise did all the Scrum Masters, but for the courses Scrum Master Online and Kanban Online instead.

This was a perfect fit for the two skill-tracks that BESTSELLER TECH operate with: Product Mastery and Agile Mastery.
Besides access to e-learning, there was also attached a flesh-and-blood instructor to each of the tracks, who facilitated workshops and teaching, whenever Scrum Masters and Product Owners met in person in Aarhus.

Why did you undergo such an extensive training program?

”BESTSELLER TECH had gone agile around 5 years previous, and we had gone through considerable growth with a lot of new faces coming in, that did not have the same degree of knowledge or the same preconditions as those who had been there from the beginning. It became clear to us that we had to do something about that. And for those who had already learned these things before, it did not hurt to get a little refresher course”, Anne Engholm explains.

What was the process like?

”You can send people off to courses and educations – and we have done that too in BESTSELLER – where you learn something about the perfect world. But to us, it was important that the real world also became a part of the material. That is why it was a really good fit with a combination of theory, prepared for via online videos before they showed up for the in-person sessions, where we could discuss the theory in relation to the reality here in BESTSELLER.”

What did you gain from it?

”We have gotten several things out of it. It made the new people more well-equipped for their tasks, and it has given them a safe space where they can address whatever is difficult for them. It has also given us a far stronger community for our Product Owners and our Scrum Masters, that, at the same time, has gained a shared language, so we are all in agreement on the different terms – which makes it far easier to communicate.

We have gained a foundation that we can build from. Most importantly, it has given us learning in context. Unlike attending a traditional course where you come home, and it has been good, but the new screwdriver you've received in your toolbox unfortunately doesn't quite fit the reality you're in," explains Anne Engholm.

Do you have any advice for organizations that are going to start a similar process?

"My advice would be that they have to get involved. You can have a fine process with a high theoretical level without involvement. But if you want to hit it out of the park, it takes involvement and dialogue with the instructors from Syndicate. They are incredibly talented, but they cannot know whether we have, for example, spent a long time in the company talking about roadmaps, then there is no reason to come and do an entire workshop on that topic.

We have had a great ongoing dialogue with the instructors, so they have been able to organize their teaching, so it fit perfectly with our reality.”

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