Rob Hathaway

Finding Flow, Leaving Time-boxing Behind

The concept of One-Piece-Flow has long been a goal in Lean manufacturing and many have talked about flow being a principle for lean software engineering but without details of what this really is and how it can be achieved. Time-boxing is a technique found is most agile methodologies but, one that ultimately stands in the way of flow.

This controversial talk will examine the issues that time-boxing introduces and how a team can over come them run without time-boxes to move to a flow based process. The talk will also cover how you can transition smoothly away from time-boxes using lean metrics to provide solid evidence that time-boxing and estimation can safely be removed from a process leaving something more effective in place.

This talk is not a direct experience report but a set of techniques for working without time-boxes where I’ll be throwing in examples from the teams I’ve worked with to back up my points.The talk is based on 10 years experience of agile coaching and over two years of experience in coaching teams in using Kanban for software development and running without time-boxes in media and telecomms companies.


Rob Hathaway is a Lean/Agile Consultant at the specialist management consultancy IndigoBlue. Rob has spent most of his career helping teams become more effective at delivering software and has a formidable track record of success. He has over 15 years experience in some of the world’s largest companies, across a range of industries including telecoms, banking, media, military, logistics and is currently helping organisations utilise Kanban and Lean processes/techniques to optimise their software delivery processes.