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Maria VanDyken

Maria VanDyken, Author at EC Group

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About Maria VanDyken

As the Creative Director at EC Group, Maria generates and oversees our multimedia—from print, to web, to video. She also enjoys doodling on her iPad, and taking care of her desk plant.

Here are my most recent posts

What you Need to Know about Offshore Vendor Hidden Fees

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What do you need to know about costs and fees when it comes to offshore vendors. Watch the final video of our Criteria to Evaluate an Offshore Vendor series to find out. Click here for a free PDF download of all the information contained in the video series! [Video Transcript] Costs are pretty self explanatory. I mean, you don’t want to hire the lowest cost vendor, because typically the quality is not there. But the biggest thing you need to watch out for are hidden fees. Hidden fees typically show up when they’re having to put in extra hours, and then you’re...
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Why You Should Visit Your Offshore Team

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The 9th in our series of evaluating an offshore vendor. Why not take a trip and visit your team? Visiting your team results in increased creativity and collaboration. Related articles: Have you written off offshoring? Learn what changed this CEO's mind. [Video Transcript] It’s pretty common for companies like GitHub, which is highly distributes, to have a company retreat once year where everyone is coming together and building relationships. Similarly, if you’re working with an offshore vendor you should ask if you can visit your team. In fact, you should really request it because it’s essential to build that relationship with...
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Why Productivity Measurements Matter with Offshore

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Productivity measurement is an essential process for any team. Check out the video to learn what you need to know when it comes to productivity and offshore, or check out some related articles. Do you Need a Dedicated Scrum Master? Agile and Scrum, Lean and Kanban: a Brief History  How to Set Up Trello for Scrum Why are People so Obsessed with Time Management?  [Video Transcript]  Each development team measures productivity slightly differently. Maybe you’re strictly agile and you’re measuring sprint velocity very closely, or maybe you’re just using a simple project management tool and just measuring tasks. It’s inessential...
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Why you Must Make Sure your Offshore Vendor has Employee Training

By | Tips for Teams, Video | No Comments
The seventh in our series about evaluating an offshore vendor. Make sure your vendor has ongoing training opportunities. For more information about employee training, check out the links below. 7 Reasons Why Your Company Should Have Been Training its Employees by Now.  Have you Written off Offshoring? Learn What Changed this CIO's Mind.  [Video Transcription] Staying up on the latest technology trends is a must for any development team. But how do you make sure that your team is keeping up pace? What you really want to build is a culture of learning that’s an ongoing process. When you’re talking...
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Why a Vendor’s HR Department is so Important

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The sixth in our series about evaluating an offshore vendor. Make sure you understand the value of a human resources department. For more info related to this topic, check out some of our articles below.  How to Make your Employees Happy, Productive, and Want to Stick Around 5 Resolutions for you and your Coworkers in 2016 What's the Essential Ingredient for Employee Happiness? 3 Tactics to Better Engage your Employees How to Get your Team out of the Office [Video transcription] An HR department is probably the last thing you’re thinking about when talking with an offshore vendor, after all, that’s...
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Examining your Offshore Vendor’s Working Conditions

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Workplace culture determines the quality of your team's work, and the retention of your employees. Watch the video above to learn about how to evaluate an offshore vendor and their workplace environment. Check out these links to read more about how we craft a workplace culture that leads to long term retention. Retaining Employees: Infographic What is the Essential Ingredient for Employee Happiness? How to Retain Remote Employees 3 Tactics to Better Engage your Employees How we Build Employee Retention Video transcript: the workplace environment of your offshore team affects the two most important elements of that team: the quality...
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Evaluating a Vendor’s Retention Strategy [video]

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The 4th video in our series on how to evaluate an offshore vendor is all about retention. Check out the video to understand the importance of employee retention for you, your team, and your product. Check out the links below for EC Group's tips on how to boost your company's retention. Retaining Employees: Infographic How to Make Employees Happy, Productive, and Want to Stick Around How to Retain Remote Employees How We Build Employee Retention Video Transcription: Losing a quality team member is always painful. Not only that, it seems like it always happens at the worst time…whether at the...
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Why Control Matters for Offshore Teams [video]

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Development teams that choose to be involved with offshore partners often don't think Agile is an option, but CIO writes that Agile can work for a distributed team, as long as you pick the right offshore partner. We agree, check out our video series for our ten tips for evaluating if an offshore vendor is right for you. This week's installment: making sure you have control. Video Transcription: Proper control over your offshore team is absolutely vital. Make sure that you control all of the code that they’re developing, not just the final product. Do you have control over the way that they’re developing,...
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Making Communication with Offshore Developers Work [video]

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Have you ever worked with an offshore vendor and felt like you never had the opportunity to meet with the people doing your development work? Did you feel like you were being shielded from your team because things weren't going well? Communication with offshore developers is just as important as communication with people on your in-house team. So why is it so hard? Agile coach Lorraine Pauls Longhurst writes in CIO that, "Due to the lack of face-to-face communication, cultural differences and time zone issues, the developers start to misunderstand requirements. In an attempt to close the communication gap, the product owner...
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How to Make Employees Happy, Productive, and Want to Stick Around

By | Business, Culture, People | No Comments
How do you make your employees happy and productive? And what causes them to actually want to stay with your company? It is easier said than done. Some people think employee happiness is overrated (do you?). “Being happy at work isn't just good for the employees. It's good for the company, too. After all, a study of 250,000 people found that happy employees tend to be healthier, more productive, have more energy, and maintain better relationships -- with you, with their customers, and with each other.” And in this post we’ll walk you through the exact step-by-step strategies you can...
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