The fifth “Campfire Talks with Herbie” was held today.

Special Guest: Thomas Cagley

Name (and Company/Affiliation if desired)

Thomas Cagley Profile Picture

Thomas “Tom” Cagley Jr.

Tom Cagley & Associates

Who are you?

Tom Cagley is a consultant, speaker, author, and coach who leads organizations and teams to unlock their inherent greatness. He has developed estimation models and has supported organizations developing classic and Agile estimates. Tom helps teams and organizations improve cycle time, productivity, quality, morale, and customer satisfaction and then prove it.

Mr. Cagley is an internationally respected blogger and podcaster for over 11 years focusing on software process and measurement. His blog entries and podcasts have been listened to or read well over a million times. He co-authored Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques with Murali K. Chemuturi. Tom penned the chapter titled “Agile Estimation Using Functional Metrics” in The IFPUG Guide to IT and Software Measurement. His certifications include CFPS, IT-CMF Tier 2 Certified Associate, CSM, SAFe SPC, TMMi Assessor, and TMMi Professional.

How did you get involved with Agile, Coaching, Organizational Performance - and in particular with TameFlow?

I count Capers Jones (98 ish) and Deming (91 ish) as the two people that got me involved in process improvement. My first run-in with TameFlow was the original Hyper book on LeanPub. I first interviewed you for SPaMCAST 274 … 2014. I have integrated ideas form TameFlow into my practice ever since I read the book the first time.

Are you currently (or do you intend) making a living in this sector? And with TameFlow?

I make a living as an agile coach and process improvement leaders. TameFlow ideas as I have said have permeated every aspect of the services I deliver. I am not an absolutist about anything other than data and delivering value.

Give us a typical day in your life!

I get up at 330 - 4 AM every day and run 7 ish miles or more then write for an hour, edit audio for 30 minutes. About 8 AM I start my phone calls and client work until lunch then wrap things up about 530 - 600. Make dinner with my wife (unless I am on the road ), walk the dog, read things like TameFlow, write some more then go to bed! What makes you happy at the end of a day?

Making a difference!

What’s the most important skill or insight you’ve developed while getting involved with this industry? Being able to keep my mouth shut and both listen and see.

What are the greatest challenges on your path to using/improving the techniques you favor in this sector? Where do you see TameFlow in this?

Getting organizations to take a systems view of delivering value. TameFlow provides tools to find constraints and bottlenecks in knowledge work.

What are the greatest rewards you’ve had (personally or professionally) or would like to receive in this industry?

Making a difference.

What do you want to learn from a community of peers, like the one here TameFlow Community site?

I would like to do discuss the application of TameFlow and value chain analysis.

If other TameFlow enthusiasts want to reach out to you, where do they find you? And what is your TameFlow Community handle?

Gotta do this!

An unsual campfire

Unlike other “Campfire Talks with Herbie” so far, this one was a little bit unusual. Instead of having my 21 minute whiteboard lecture, I had an long conversation with Tom. Tom has had me as a guest on his SPaMCast a number of times, ever since the very first TameFlow book was published in 2014. So this became like an extension to a dialog that has been going on for years!

Tom also announced that his next “Re-read Saturday” will be about my “Tame your Work Flow” book. For more information about this, check Tom’s blog starting with this post: Re-read Saturday, Tame you Work Flow Week 1: Logistics and Front Matter.

We also had a number of interesting questions from the audience.


If you found the topics in the “Campfire Talks with Herbie” interesting, there is much more to learn about them in the Tame your Work Flow, How Dr. Goldratt of “The Goal” would apply the Theory of Constraints to rethink knowledge-work management book.


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