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What is Timeboxing?

 , updated on November 07, 2016
Timeboxing is a time management technique that sets a fixed amount of time for a meeting, activity or process. It is thought to encourage productive use of time. Timeboxing can also be used to put a cap on risk by setting a maximum investment of time for an activity that might otherwise continue indefinitely.
It is common for agile project management methodologies such as scrum to put a time limit on meetings. This leads to a culture of getting to the point. In many cases, an issue will be identified in a meeting but not resolved. Afterwards, those who can directly fix the issue meet separately.
It is also common for agile projects to run fixed-length development cycles known as sprints. This is done to prevent projects from becoming long, complex and failure prone. By keeping development cycles to weeks instead of months, agile teams are constantly delivering working code. This tends to minimize the risk of large scale project failure.
Timeboxing is also commonly used to limit the risks of problem solving activities. For example, if your computer is broken and you're not sure you can fix it, you might give it 5 hours before you buy another one. If you don't timebox the repair you may end up spending weeks on it with no result.
Overview: Timeboxing
TypeTime Management
DefinitionSetting a strict time limit on a meeting, activity, decision or process in order to encourage productivity and reduce risk.
Related ConceptsTime Management


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