We have finite time at hand for everything in this world. As human beings we often don’t place a start and end time for many activities of our life. As a result we procrastinate and the activities in the to-do list keep moving to the next slot on the timeline/calendar. Activities in which we expect end results or outcomes need to have fixed duration to operate to help us –
The commonly used time management technique of charting a start and end time is called a timebox . When an event/activity/task is time boxed we try hard to stick to the context or agenda instead of moving away from the action point. The other areas or tasks take a back seat . Focussing on the activity at hand within a time box improves the chances of completion.
One of the techniques commonly used for time management is Pomodoro. Below is how it works –
By working in this manner we consciously avoid multitasking and aim to prioritize the important tasks on the “ To do “ list. When the end time is not present, we as humans tend to extend the work in hand until you come across another event which forces you to end the task at hand. So the question is how to bring timeboxing as a habit into our lives. Few tips that would help in inculcating this habit.
Just like for any habit formation, consistency and practice are key.
The concept of time boxing is widely used in agile project management practices. In the scrum framework the work is done in iterations which are time-boxed and have fixed start and end dates. All the iterations should be of the same duration or length. When one iteration or sprint is completed the next sprint starts immediately. Just like program increments which are of 3 month duration consisting of 5-6 iterations of 2 week length are also time boxed. Not only are these time-boxed, they also maintain the same cadence.
This time management technique of timbering helps the teams to manage, prioritize work and manage scope. The events of scrum ceremonies are also time boxed.
The time boxed events in Scrum are listed below
The above durations have to be decided prior to the start of the project.The timebox duration is based on size of the team and the length of an iteration . The iterations are timeboxed meaning the start and end dates don’t change even if the functionality changes or is dropped.
Listed below are some of the benefits of timeboxing work in iterations
Do let us know what are some of the timeboxing hacks which have worked for you. If your teams are struggling in agile adoption or getting the right benefits from agile, do drop us a note at “ firstname.lastname@example.org ” and we will be glad to set up a discussion.
Sudha Madhuri B