Timeboxing

Explanation of the concept of Cadence and Timeboxing

Cadence

Cadence is doing things in a rhythm. Cadence is a lean principle in both production and development. Examples of cadence include:

  • Daily standup meetings
  • Timeboxed iterations in agile
  • Holding a team meeting at a fixed day and time every week
  • Quarterly financial results
  • Seven-day weeks

Cadence is in human nature. People appreciate or want rhythms in their lives and work, and appreciate or want rituals within these rhythms. Cadence at work improves predictability, planning, and coordination.

Timeboxing

A timebox is a usually a fixed, short cycle time of development work. Teams are expected to deliver or demonstrate completed work at the end of the fixed duration. Agile projects use timeboxed iterations of 1-4 weeks to manage their work.

A key concept about timeboxing is that duration is fixed while scope can vary. You may be tested on this concept in the PMP exam.

Advantages of Timeboxing

Timeboxing has many advantages. Timeboxing:

  1. enforces cadence
  2. increases focus on completing work
  3. limits scope creep and gold plating
  4. reduces analysis paralysis (overthinking)
  5. prevents Students Syndrome (procrastinating)
  6. makes waste and ineffective processes more evident
  7. simplifies scheduling
  8. reduces risks
  9. reduces erosion of confidence that could result from not delivering on time (people are most sensitive to time variation than scope variation)

Reference: The Lean Primer

Last updated: March 20, 2021