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Jazz as a Metaphor for Agile Management


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Part of a larger presentation on Jazz as a metaphor for product development

Jazz as a Metaphor for Agile Management

  1. 1. Jazz – A Metaphor for Agile Management <ul><ul><li>Charlie Berg [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>August, '09 </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. The New Business Environment... <ul><li>“ Under conditions of hypercompetition & creative destruction, the best one can hope for is temporary competitive advantages that, with luck, add up to long-term survival. These temporary advantages emanate from organizations that emphasize innovation, dynamism, and adaptiveness, blended with just enough stability & discipline to keep them from spinning out of control. ” - Lee Dyer/Jeff Ercksen, Cornell Univ. Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why Is Jazz a Useful Metaphor? <ul><li>Jazz Bands are organizations that are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-organizing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-motivated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Studied in their domain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adept at change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsive to environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Perfect development team model! </li></ul><ul><li>Jazz Bands can be viewed as Complex Adaptive Systems </li></ul>
  4. 4. Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS)‏ <ul><li>Dynamic network of many agents acting in parallel, constantly acting and reacting to what the other agents are doing. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant interactions among agents amplify into bifurcations where agents forced to make choices. Feedback from these choices create additional bifurcations, additional choices, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subtle interplay of cooperation, competition, creation & adaptation </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Characteristics of CAS <ul><li>Self-organizing – no one point of control </li></ul><ul><li>Operate at the edge of chaos </li></ul><ul><li>System Behavior & Solutions are emergent, not pre-determined </li></ul><ul><li>Maps to... &quot; organizations that emphasize innovation, dynamism, and adaptiveness, blended with just enough stability & discipline to keep them from spinning out of control. ” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Jazz Band on the Stand <ul><li>Jam sessions slightly different (freer) than organized gig </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We'll analyze a session </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jam sessions are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically leaderless </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Anybody can “call” a tune to play </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assume prior expertise & knowledge of theory, harmony, tunes, aural traditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Head charts – arrangements are done on the fly </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Sidebar – Aural Tradition <ul><li>A particular musical phrase or snippet that is associated with a particular jazz standard </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: Standard bebop intro to All the Things You Are </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created by Dizzy Gillespie (1944 or 1945)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on Rachmaninoff Prelude in C sharp minor </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Sergei Rachmaninoff <ul><li>1873 – 1942 </li></ul><ul><li>Emigrated to S. California after Russian Revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Virtuoso pianist </li></ul><ul><li>Fan of Paul Whiteman (early jazz orchestra)‏ </li></ul>
  9. 9. Dizzy Gillespie <ul><li>1917 – 1993 </li></ul><ul><li>Compositional father of bebop movement </li></ul><ul><li>Introduced AfroCuban music to jazz </li></ul>
  10. 10. Charlie “Bird” Parker <ul><li>1920 - 1955 </li></ul><ul><li>Considered (w Diz) father of bebop </li></ul><ul><li>Icon of the Bop movement, Beat Generation & post-war African-American literature </li></ul>
  11. 11. Dick Twardzik <ul><li>1931 – 1955 </li></ul><ul><li>Studied classical piano & theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Madame Chaloff & New England Conservatory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May have introduced Schoenberg & Bartok to Bird </li></ul>
  12. 12. Calling a Tune (Step by Step)‏ <ul><li>Somebody (not necessarily the leader) suggests a standard to play </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Silence or agreement signify acceptance by the group </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intro, head, location of solos, outro decided </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some member of group </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Musicians optionally volunteer to solo or solos decided during playing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Solo order scoped out </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Playing the Tune <ul><li>(Usually) person who called tune counts off </li></ul><ul><li>Solos pre-determined, or determined by eye contact/hand signals, or stepping to front of band </li></ul><ul><li>Non-soloing horns might collaborate behind soloist for backing harmony parts/shout chorus </li></ul>
  14. 14. Ending the Tune <ul><li>Hand-signals or shout-out to return to head </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-signals to end </li></ul><ul><li>Rhythm section or lead horn will provide aural queues for ending </li></ul>
  15. 15. Charlie Christian <ul><li>One of earliest electric guitarists </li></ul><ul><li>Member of late 30s Benny Goodman band & sextet </li></ul><ul><li>Early proponent of bop </li></ul><ul><li>Died of TB @ 25 </li></ul><ul><li>This jam session is 1940, waiting for Goodman @ a CBS recording studio </li></ul><ul><li>Very difficult key </li></ul>
  16. 16. Ella Fitzgerald with... <ul><li>Open separate browser window to above URL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slideshare doesn't support video AND audio tracks!!! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Roy Eldridge (trumpet)‏ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Known as influence of Dizzy, Miles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fierce session competitor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (tenor sax)‏ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard bopper – Basie in the late 40s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tommy Flanagan (piano)‏ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ella's accompanist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Well known bop pianist </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Collaboration in Jam Sessions <ul><li>Amherst Wilder Foundation's Collaboration Handbook – collaboration is... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Cooperation (in Collaboration)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support individual learning goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synchronous & asynchronous in member participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crowd/organization sourcing to solve individual problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Akin to rhythm section support of solos (including “comping” & “head charts”)‏ </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Coordination (in Collaboration)‏ <ul><li>Coordination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants work together as a group to achieve a common goal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination maps to planning in product dev. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Akin to group decisions about tune form (start, end, tune selection, etc.)‏ </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. As Applied to Agile <ul><li>Scrum – tool for coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Not typically used for cooperation, i.e. Group-sourcing design problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we encourage more & faster group interactions to solving real problems? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mentoring as one methodology for group-sourcing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Akin to buddy-programming </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use of collaboration tools/infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Other resources/techniques? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Some Conclusions/Ideas <ul><li>Self-directed teams are solution-enabled </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More flexible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More incentive for creativity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implications on hiring – senior is better </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Common Semiotics important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support an active, documented oral tradition of semantic short cuts, processes, design tricks, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Some Conclusions/Ideas <ul><li>Common tools for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solution-finding tools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaboration acceleration is key </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination is pretty well covered in Agile methodologies – what about cooperation to solve design problems? </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. The Goal... <ul><li>How do we get the rate of collaboration in jam session to product development? </li></ul><ul><li>Your chorus...fall in! </li></ul>
  24. 24. Allen Eager <ul><li>1927 – 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Polymath </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bebop tenor sax; professional skier, race car driver, and artist; LSD w Timothy Leary </li></ul></ul>L to r:Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Allen Eager, Kai Winding