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Charlie BERG<br />Miles Davis was an Agile Genius<br />www.tacticalbusinesspartners.com<br />
Miles Davis - an Agile Genius<br />Miles’ Electric Recordings as<br />A Metaphor for Agile Development<br />
Who Was Miles Davis<br />The Picasso of jazz<br />Multiple “periods”<br />Innovator of several jazz styles<br />Hard Bop<b...
Electric Miles was Agile in Two Ways<br />Miles sprinted  record releases to evolve his exploration of the Rock idiom<br /...
Electric Miles was Agile in Two Ways<br />In building Bitches Brew, Miles:<br />Maximized velocity with self-managed teams...
Scrum with Agile<br />Sprint<br />Timeboxes feature release<br />Scrum<br />Represents daily activity mgt<br />
Prototype – Nefertiti(Jun-Jul ‘67)<br />No electric instrumentation<br />1st experiment with tone centers vs. chord progre...
Sprint 1 – Miles in the Sky(May ‘68)<br />Musical features<br />1st use of rock rhythm vs. jazz<br />Uses harmonic (chord)...
Sprint 2 – Filles des Kilimanjaro(Sep ‘68)<br />Extend use of electric instrumentation<br />Electric piano on all tracks (...
Beta v0.9 – In a Silent Way(Feb ’69)<br />Musical features<br />1st complete “fusion” album for Miles<br />Tunes based aro...
Beta v0.9 – In a Silent Way(Feb ’69)<br />All electric instrumentation<br />Electric piano, bass, guitar, organ on all tra...
Electric Miles V1.0 rc1 – Bitches Brew(Aug ’69)<br />Musical features<br />Penultimate “fusion” album for Miles <br />Rhyt...
Electric Miles V1.0 rc1 – Bitches Brew(Aug ’69)<br />All electric instrumentation<br />1st use of “effects” on trumpet<br ...
Electric Miles Release Velocity<br />Beta 0.9<br />Sprint 2<br />Prototype<br />Rel. 1.0<br />Sprint 1<br />9/24/68<br />7...
Electric MilesFeature Burn-down Chart<br />
From Silent Way to Bitches Brew<br />The User Story:  Miles wanted to expand the canvas of In a Silent Way by:<br />Keep s...
Agile Solution – Self-Managed Teams<br />Hire mix of skill & wisdom<br />Minimal management structure/direction<br />“I do...
Wisdom vs Skills<br />Experienced,  old-fogies<br />Rock kids<br />Jazz<br />Rock<br />
Minimal Management Structure<br />Live quintet experience<br />Architecting tunes w J. Zawinul<br />Single rehearsal (of s...
Plan-Execute-Evaluate<br />“I would tell musicians to play different things I was hearing, as the music was growing.  [BB]...
Thank Youchb@tacticalbusinesspartners.com<br />Bibliography<br />Tingen, Paul “Miles Beyond: The Electric Explorations of ...
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CHARLIE BERG – Miles Davis was an Agile Genius

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In the album Bitches Brew, Miles Davis put together older, straight-ahead musicians, studio musicians, and young lions to invent a new form of music - fusion. In doing so, Miles provided an "agile" innovation culture, by creating a minimalist, well-defined environment and musical system framework, and then allowed the "developers" (i.e. musicians) to evolve the system. This talk looks at the framework that Miles provided, and the key characteristics that the individual innovators must bring to the table, that resulted in a ground-breaking product.
For 40 years, Charlie Berg has also been the quintessential sideman, playing drums and percussion in every musical genre from Afropop to Zydeco (except Country music). He has performed and recorded with acts as various as Don Byron, David Amram, David Byrne (The Talking Heads), Uri Caine, the Klezmatics, Byard Lancaster, Walter Beasley, and Eric Bazilian (The Hooters). Additionally Charlie has kept busy as a serial entrepreneur and CTO for the past 30 years.
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CHARLIE BERG – Miles Davis was an Agile Genius

  1. 1. Charlie BERG<br />Miles Davis was an Agile Genius<br />www.tacticalbusinesspartners.com<br />
  2. 2. Miles Davis - an Agile Genius<br />Miles’ Electric Recordings as<br />A Metaphor for Agile Development<br />
  3. 3. Who Was Miles Davis<br />The Picasso of jazz<br />Multiple “periods”<br />Innovator of several jazz styles<br />Hard Bop<br />1st Quartet<br />(’54-’57)<br />Speed Jazz<br />2nd Quartet<br />(mid-’60s)<br />Cool Jazz<br />(Late 40s)<br />Kind of Blue/<br />Modal<br />(‘59-early ‘60s)<br />then came Electric Miles…<br />
  4. 4. Electric Miles was Agile in Two Ways<br />Miles sprinted record releases to evolve his exploration of the Rock idiom<br /> Evolving instrumentation to electric<br /> Evolving musical idiom to rock<br />
  5. 5. Electric Miles was Agile in Two Ways<br />In building Bitches Brew, Miles:<br />Maximized velocity with self-managed teams<br />Modeled scrum process in rehearsal & recording studio<br />
  6. 6. Scrum with Agile<br />Sprint<br />Timeboxes feature release<br />Scrum<br />Represents daily activity mgt<br />
  7. 7. Prototype – Nefertiti(Jun-Jul ‘67)<br />No electric instrumentation<br />1st experiment with tone centers vs. chord progressions (title track)<br />
  8. 8. Sprint 1 – Miles in the Sky(May ‘68)<br />Musical features<br />1st use of rock rhythm vs. jazz<br />Uses harmonic (chord) changes<br />Start of use of electric instrumentation<br />Use of electric guitar (George Benson) on one track<br />Use of electric piano & electric bass on one track (Herbie Hancock & Ron Carter)<br />
  9. 9. Sprint 2 – Filles des Kilimanjaro(Sep ‘68)<br />Extend use of electric instrumentation<br />Electric piano on all tracks (Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock)<br />Electric bass on 75% of tracks (Ron Carter)<br />Musical features<br />50% tracks use rock rhythm vs. jazz<br />Tunes based around tone centers, not chord changes<br />
  10. 10. Beta v0.9 – In a Silent Way(Feb ’69)<br />Musical features<br />1st complete “fusion” album for Miles<br />Tunes based around tone centers, not chord changes<br />1st use of “studio as instrument” (a la Brian Wilson & the Beatles)<br />
  11. 11. Beta v0.9 – In a Silent Way(Feb ’69)<br />All electric instrumentation<br />Electric piano, bass, guitar, organ on all tracks<br />1st use of instrument “sections”(2 pianos & organ, electric & acoustic bass)<br />
  12. 12. Electric Miles V1.0 rc1 – Bitches Brew(Aug ’69)<br />Musical features<br />Penultimate “fusion” album for Miles <br />Rhythm has central role (as in rock)<br />Very little tonal centers movement<br />Use of “studio as instrument” for construction of every track<br />
  13. 13. Electric Miles V1.0 rc1 – Bitches Brew(Aug ’69)<br />All electric instrumentation<br />1st use of “effects” on trumpet<br />Sections of instrumentation<br />2-3 pianos, 3-4 drummers, 3 basses<br />
  14. 14. Electric Miles Release Velocity<br />Beta 0.9<br />Sprint 2<br />Prototype<br />Rel. 1.0<br />Sprint 1<br />9/24/68<br />7/19/67<br />8/23/69<br />5/17/68<br />2/21/69<br />6.1 mos.<br />4.3 mos.<br />4.8 mos.<br />10 mos.<br />
  15. 15. Electric MilesFeature Burn-down Chart<br />
  16. 16. From Silent Way to Bitches Brew<br />The User Story: Miles wanted to expand the canvas of In a Silent Way by:<br />Keep same format as Silent Way…<br />Expand # of musicians<br />Expand compositions<br />Challenge – how to manage larger team for longer tracks?<br />
  17. 17. Agile Solution – Self-Managed Teams<br />Hire mix of skill & wisdom<br />Minimal management structure/direction<br />“I don't lead musicians, man. They lead me. I listen to them and learn what they can do best.” – MD III<br />
  18. 18. Wisdom vs Skills<br />Experienced, old-fogies<br />Rock kids<br />Jazz<br />Rock<br />
  19. 19. Minimal Management Structure<br />Live quintet experience<br />Architecting tunes w J. Zawinul<br />Single rehearsal (of subset of band of subset of tracks)<br />Plan-execute-evaluate cycle during recording<br />“Miles gave the minimum instructions. He’d let you try & find something that worked”<br />D. Holland<br />
  20. 20. Plan-Execute-Evaluate<br />“I would tell musicians to play different things I was hearing, as the music was growing. [BB] was a development of a creative process”<br />MD III<br />“[Recording BB] was a process, a kind of spiral, a circular situation”<br />J. DeJohnette<br />
  21. 21. Thank Youchb@tacticalbusinesspartners.com<br />Bibliography<br />Tingen, Paul “Miles Beyond: The Electric Explorations of Miles Davis”Billboard Books, NY 2001<br />Davis, M. & Troupe Quincy “Miles: The Autobiography” Simon & Shuster, NY 1990<br />Suscheck, Charles "Jazz improvisation as a metaphor for understanding agile development organizational behavior”Agile 2008, Toronto, CA<br />Barrett, Frank “Creativity and Improvisation in Jazz and Organizations: Implications for Organizational Learning”Organization Science, Sept./Oct. 1998, Vol. 9, No. 5<br />Discography<br />Miles In The Sky (Columbia CS 9628)<br />Filles De Kilimanjaro (Columbia CS 9750)<br />In A Silent Way (Columbia CS 9875)<br />Bitches Brew (Columbia CS 9996)<br />Birth Of The Cool (Capitol T 792)<br />Walkin' (Prestige PRLP 7076)<br />Kind Of Blue (Columbia CL 1355)<br />Miles In Berlin (CBS (G) SBPG 62976)<br />Nefertiti (Columbia CS 9594)<br />

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