What is Timeboxing and Why is it Important in Task Management?

Timeboxing is an important agile task management technique. It has been defined by the Agile Alliance as an agreed upon period of time to achieve a goal. By working towards an established goal within a specified time decreases the potential of procrastination, as well as perfectionism. Both of these can lead to late delivery of the project and result in negative project outcomes.

Here we will explain the concept of timeboxing and how it plays an important role in task management.

What is Timeboxing?

Traditional project management approaches follow a predictive lifecycle. While the projects are planned in advance and the scope of the work is defined, the time remains variable that can be expanded to achieve the established goals.

Timeboxing is the reverse of traditional task management since the time is fixed. The project manager determines what can be delivered within an established time frame.

However, timeboxing is more than just establishing time periods and categorizing tasks. It is, in fact, a process to control the completion of tasks in an iterative fashion. Projects can be viewed as a series of timeboxed deliveries that are fixed in advance. The aim of timeboxing is to ensure efficient delivery without compromising on the quality.

What is involved in Timeboxing?

Depending on the particular work, a timebox can be of a few weeks, days, or even hours. It entails getting started on the tasks in an organized manner without wasting any time. Here are some of the steps to implement timeboxing.

  1. Decide on the task that must be completed
  2. Establish a time limit for the tasks
  3. Focus on finishing the task within the specified time limit
  4. Stop working on the task when the time period is complete
  5. Review the work, and establish what has been achieved

The Benefits of Timeboxing

Following fixed timeboxes helps improves the focus, which in turn results in increased productivity. It avoids the prospect of postponing the product demo until all the work is completed. In addition, metrics can be used as an input in review meetings for further improvements.

Timeboxing help project team members to avoid wasting time on superfluous aspects of the project. It helps them keep laser focused on the main deliverables. This results in achieving the assigned task in the minimum timeframe that subsequently results in reduced costs and increased profitability for the company.

Lastly, timeboxing help in prioritizing important tasks. The team will complete the most important tasks first. If the team knows that there is a fixed time period, it will avoid wasting time on unnecessary work. This will result in completing more important tasks that will make a major positive impact on the project outcome.

The importance of timeboxing in effective task management cannot be denied. However, you must use a good online tasks management software to implement the technique. Using the right task management tool will matter as it will determine how favorable the impact on the end project goal is.