As part of the Agile week at BoostAgile, they gave me a copy of the lean startup book to read.  I liked it

One of the things I really liked was the concept of creating experiments to prove or disprove an idea or concept.  Its one of the things we have been doing as Unconscious competence. (although we probably evaluate the results more on gut feel than scientific analysis)

One of the areas we have been experimenting with lately is the idea of providing a repeatable mentoring service.

Kathryn has just come back from 3 days in Melbourne working with a customer to mentor them in how to get the best visualisation results in SAS VA.  (Roberto did one for a NZ customer around EG/EM and SAS VA earlier this year)

As always when working with customers in the real world (as compared to regurgitating course notes without ever having delivered the product in anger) you always get asked questions that you don’t have the answers on the tip of your tongue for, as you have never actually solved that problem.

The cracker for this one was how do you auto load data into SAS VA without having to manually go through the process.

As the Optimal team knows, my mantra at the moment (ok rant) is all about the ability to scale and no teams of 1.

So Smiles researched how to auto load data in SAS VA, provided Kathryn with the details while she was at the customers site and then he blogged about it here to share it with the rest of the world.

For me that showed the real value of a mentoring service that is backed by a team and the ability for a remote team to add value no matter where a customer is.

As an aside I keep thinking we should write a raft of SAS VA how-to articles and publish them as a free eBook.  I know Trish is writing one in the US and know it will be great, but its frustrating that when she has finished it there will still be a massive delay before it is actually published (and given the 6 month SA SVA release will probably miss the raft of new features that have been released in between.

Goes to show what a dying model publishing real paper books is becoming (along with legacy on premise software in my opinion as well). Shane.