Timeboxing is a simple technique to limit the time spent on a meeting or task. A fixed amount of time is allocated to it and when this time is over the task or meeting goal is either accomplished or the attempt has failed, but the time cannot be extended.
Why timeboxing is necessary in Scrum
Scrum uses a large number of short meetings (Sprint planning, Daily Scrum, Review and Retrospective). If meeting time is not effectively limited, these meetings are at a high risk to become general discussions and consume considerable amounts of time and energy from all participants. At the same time the core purpose of achieving a simple goal with a transparent process gets diluted.
Timeboxes in use at Openbravo
As of April 2009 we apply the following timeboxes at Openbravo
- Daily scrum: 15 Minutes
- Review meetings
- with functionality that can be demonstrated: 60 minutes
- without functionality that can be demonstrated: 30 minutes
- Retrospective meetings: 30 Minutes
- Sprint planning - Part 1: 90 Minutes
- Sprint planning - Part 2: 60 Minutes
The timeboxes do not vary with team size. Some of these timeboxes are very hard to keep. See the articles on the meetings for the preparation that is requested from participants in order to keep them.