Time-boxing in Agile Practices

Timeboxing in Agile is used for managing time as it depicts the sprint timing and its events. It gives stakeholders and team members a general idea about accomplishing their tasks in the mentioned time frame. It allows us to do meetings for sprint planning. The daily scrum timebox is crucial for keeping track of the work completed to achieve outcomes and maintain cost-effectiveness. Each event in agile has a set timebox, and it has been in use for many years.

Timebox: What Exactly Is It?

In agile practices, small tasks and activities have some specified time to finish, or, in general terms, we can say that there is a time constraint. This time constraint is set on a particular activity, "Timebox." The timebox length can be variable as it depends upon the complexity of the specific task. The main motive for including a timebox in Agile practices is to fulfill the assigned task within a deadline.

What Is Time Boxing?

It refers to a straightforward time management strategy that entails assigning an activity a predetermined, maximum amount of time in advance and completing it within that time limit. Different tasks are divided based on their complexity, budget, and deliverables, which is possible due to the use of Timeboxes. Timeboxing restricts and defines the time for taking action to achieve desired outcomes.

Time-Boxing Technique Benefits

Enhance productivity − The good part of agile time boxing is that there are pre-specified schedules for the entire team. When team members and stakeholders know the deadline, they work more strategically. It emphasizes their main goal to finish the work by the assigned deadline. Moreover, it depicts the productivity of achieving the goal.

Focused on current work − Timeboxing allows the team to work on the assigned task. This, in turn, allows the team to be more focused. When there are no distractions, a particular task gets proper attention.

Time management − Timeboxing allows the team to manage time by performing a specific task in the allotted time. This way, one can also realize how much time is allocated to a single activity. Even timeboxing allows one to complete a task by the deadline as long as one doesn't put it off or procrastinate until the next deadline.

Handling difficult tasks is easy − With timeboxes, one can handle difficult tasks that they are uncertain about before beginning. Setting time restrictions on your tasks leads to better results. In that scenario, you also forget the struggle behind the task.

Establishment of strong boundaries − Agile timeboxing allows one to set boundaries for completing a particular task. Chances are high that the work will be accomplished effectively if the time boxes are set, but if the time boxes are not set, then the work's deliverability will be affected. That particular task might get delayed. Timeboxing allows us to concentrate on the present work, which leads to fruitful outcomes.

Prevents feature creep − The steady accumulation of features in a project without first establishing their necessity is known as feature creep. These issues frequently arise in software initiatives. This will significantly affect the project's time, quality, and cost. So in this case, timeboxing can work well. With timeboxing, managing current work becomes a necessity and it won't introduce any features until the current task is finished.

Steps of Timebox Planning

Timebox Begin

Here the goals, as well as the objectives of your timeboxing, are planned and discussed. The timeboxing structure and the complete goal plan are here in this phase. One can check out the timebox structure to see if it is a DSDM (Dynamic System Development Method) or basic.


In this phase, every task is analyzed. Then the next plans for executing them are evaluated. Here the work gets decided and divided so that it is completed in smaller iterations.


This phase involves testing the project. These measures ensure that the work you did during the investigation phase is accurate before moving on to the next stage.

Then, when the testing part is done, the results of the testing are presented to the stakeholders. Stakeholders then approve the outcomes by sharing their views.


The context of the action executed is provided in this phase. Some scenarios include testing the product. Following that, a comparison is made based on the goals established and the goals attained. A new sprint is also scheduled to carry out the assignment if the objectives are not accomplished in the appropriate time range.

Timebox Control

With agile timeboxes, one can control lengthy projects into smaller portions by dividing the tasks into time slots. The duration of a timebox can be as short as a day or as long as six months in total. The basic procedure behind this approach is the iterative procedure that efficiently supports the product's development.

The benefit of smaller timeboxes is greater than that of larger timeboxes, as there is no room for procrastination.

Additionally, while it is true that longer timeboxes might provide teams more time to complete any task, it can distract them as well. In smaller timeboxes, decisions are made quickly, and improvements are made in a limited time frame.

How Can Timeboxing Be Successfully Implemented?

While timeboxes are necessary for an Agile framework, it is more important to consider how to keep activities on track while using timeboxing. Following these tips can make your tasks more effective in an Agile framework.

Use Calendars in Agile For Timeboxes

Your main aim is to complete your task with the desired output. So you can use calendars of your choice, either digital or analog. Also, you can block your time on your calendar so that you can move forward with a smooth workflow.

Committed To Your Assigned Work

Once you have decided to work on your time boxes, you can schedule meetings accordingly. You need to stick to your time limits and try to finish your work within that schedule.

Timer Setting

You can set a timer for accomplishing or completing your work so that you can finish a particular task in the allotted time.


The purpose of deploying timeboxing in Agile is to mitigate the significant risk factors. With a timebox, a team can take action by analyzing the relevant estimation techniques. These actions lead to the desired outputs as well as foster an atmosphere of concentration. Also, when the team gets desired outcomes, then it enhances the spirit of teamwork and boosts productivity.

Updated on: 19-Dec-2022


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