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Maria VanDyken

Maria VanDyken, Author at EC Group - Page 3 of 4

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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


Agile and Scrum, Lean and Kanban: a Brief History

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Agile and Scrum, Lean and Kanban So many teams in the software sphere are integrating at least one of these project management methods. For those of you, like me, who are curious about the origins of these terms, I’ve compiled a brief history of each. (Full disclosure: Wikipedia was my go-to source for historical dates and events. I’ll leave it to you do go into deep fact checking if you’d like)  Lean vs Agile Lean You’ll often find people using the terms Lean and Agile interchangeably. To clarify, Lean comes from Lean Manufacturing, and is a set of principles for achieving quality, speed…

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How to Set Up Trello for Scrum

By | Remote Working | 2 Comments
The Scrum process requires, really more than anything, a visual presence of tasks in progress. Non-distributed Scrum teams have the luxury of a central, physical board to keep track of stories and sprints, but distributed teams face a challenge---how do we make our Scrum board visible, but also unified? Our team has tried a number of things---from online project management apps, to simply taking a picture of our physical Scrum board and sending it out to the team so that they could update their physical board to match. That didn’t work so well. Absence of a centralized Scrum board (whether...
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Why are People so Obsessed with Time Management?

By | Business, Culture | No Comments

People will sell you software to make you more productive, tips to make you more organized. They will sell you on the idea of minimalism to eliminate every possible distraction from your life so that you can simply stay in the present. It’s the obsession over Scandinavian minimalism. It’s trying to become a morning person. It’s becoming a master of time management. Only when we become masters of time management, then can we be the type of person we think we wish to be. The kind of person who owns a meditation stool. But when we desire ourselves to be better…

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do you need a dedicated scrum master?

Do You Need a Dedicated Scrum Master?

By | People | No Comments
Do you need a dedicated Scrum Master? Maybe we should first address what a SM does exactly. Summarized by Scrum Hub, a Scrum Master is responsible for… Facilitating (not participating in) the daily standup Helping the team maintain their burndown chart Setting up retrospectives, sprint reviews or sprint planning sessions Shielding the team from interruptions during the sprint Removing obstacles that affect the team Walking the product owner through more technical user stories Encouraging collaboration between the Scrum team and product owner You can see why, based on this list of responsibilities, some wouldn’t think these duties call for a...
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Pic 1

Hats Off!

By | Heartbeat | No Comments
Hats off to the EC Group Datasoft CSR organizers and volunteers! This year the team participated in the Asia Pacific HRD Congress Awards, and won for Best Use of CSR Practices. About 350 companies participated, and six awards were given for CSR activities. Arun Isaac, who received the award on behalf of EC Group, stood amongst representatives from much larger companies who were honored with the same award. Afterwards, he said that he felt much like an ant standing next to elephants. “We could achieve these awards because your support and constant encouragement we receive from you all which is deeply...
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Medical Camp in the Fishing Villages

By | Heartbeat | No Comments
One of EC Group Datasoft’s repeating outreach activities is our medical camp. Why do we keep organizing the same event? Because, according to a report by the U.N., 75% of India’s healthcare resources are available to only 27% of the population—those living in urban areas. The challenge for those living in rural areas isn’t merely the day it would take to travel, but also the loss of that day’s wage. Fisherman already have enough instability in their wages, as their income depends on elusive fish. So, in coordination with Jesus Loves Ministries, we helped gather physicians, ophthalmologists, nurses, paramedics, and a...
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Bike Drive for the Gypsies

By | Heartbeat | One Comment
A pattern of no education contributes to a cycle of stagnation from generation to generation. When given the opportunity to learn, people have the agency to make decisions for themselves—decisions which often result in progress.Over money, over shelter, over medical care, education is perhaps the most empowering thing a person can have. Unfortunately for our village friends, the closest school is nearly four miles away. Children of all ages walk this distance daily. They must face the challenge of hiking through heat and downpours, and afterward must still posses the energy to learn. Because of this difficulty many children drop...
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good leader

Are You a Good Leader According to This TED Talk?

By | Culture, People | No Comments

The poet Stephen Crane once wrote: A man said the the universe “Sir, I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation.” So much of life—especially as an employee—is spent wishing for someone in authority over you not only to acknowledge that “I exist!” but also to feel obligated to you—to value you. Research shows that 70 percent of employees are disengaged at work. Disengagement results from unhappiness; unhappiness festers when bosses don’t meet employee needs—or, when bosses feel no sense of obligation. Some bosses remain skeptical that they have any obligation to…

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Happy Independence Day!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments
The 15th of August marked the anniversary of India’s 69th year of independence from the British. We held our celebration the day before (Friday), when everyone was in the office. In addition to the typical speeches and flag raising, we also did some community outreach and even had an "independence day slogan” competition.  Our Slogan champion was Ms. Kavitha Rose. Her slogan: Better me, better we, better India! True to the spirit of Kavitha’s slogan, leading up to our Independence Day celebration the office organized some “Go Green” initiatives. For the first activity, all employees with a two or four-wheeler vehicle over...
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