Pomodoro Technique® and Scrum: Objective VI

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Pomodoro Technique tomato

The final article in the series about the Pomodoro Technique® and Scrum covers objective VI: Other Possible Objectives which, I admit, is a bit fuzzy.

One goal of Scrum is to continuously improve. This is formalized in the sprint retrospective. Identifying and implementing potential improvements is part of the agenda, and second nature to agile practitioners.

Mostly these improvements have nothing to do with how team members apply the Pomodoro Technique® but "other possible objectives" could very well be the product of a retrospective.

However, I have chosen two other objectives that I will mention briefly.

Using the Pomodoro Technique® in Meetings

Two characteristics of effective meetings are

  • They have an agenda
  • They are timeboxed

For discussion oriented meetings it is often useful to timebox each item on the agenda. Pomodoros could be used as an alternative, perhaps with adjusted durations and cycle between longer breaks.

A big time thief in meetings are off-topic discussions. The technique used to deal with internal interruptions in Pomodoros work very well here: stop the discussion, make a note of the interruption and write down the topic so that it can be picked up later.

You could also consider treating the agenda as a Pomodoro TODO sheet and make notes of all interruptions: internal and external. At the end of the meeting, take a minute to reflect on how the meeting went and how to improve the next meeting.

It might be an eye opener to people.

Expanding the Pomodoro Technique® to the Team

I think expanding the Pomodoro Technique® to a whole team can prove very difficult. Probably it's not even desirable.

How you work most efficient is very individual, but to be productive I think you have to feel comfortable about, and like, the way you work.

If you want to "spread the word" the best way is probably to keep using the Pomodoro Technique® yourself. Perhaps people will become curious and like to try it for themselves.

If people on your team are open-minded and willing to embrace new ideas they might agree to try this as well as other techniques on a team level. In that case you could, as an example, try estimating tasks in Pomodoros instead of hours.

Conclusion

The Pomodoro Technique® can be an excellent way to focus. Not only to concentrate on the task at hand, but also to work on the right things and avoid overworking stuff.

Whether you choose to use the Pomodoro Technique® or not, it is invaluable to have a toolbox with techniques that you can apply if need be. As always, pick the bits and pieces you find useful and skip the rest. Maybe Pomodoros are not for you, but the negotiate, inform and call strategy work wonders.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent technique.
    In fact there is RPG GAME based on pomodoro technique that makes it even better :)

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