The Pomodoro Technique

pomodoro technique







The Pomodoro Technique was invented in the early 90s by developer, entrepeneur, and author Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo named the system “Pomodoro” after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work as a university student. The methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called “Pomodoros”) that are spaced out by short breaks. This trains your brain to focus for short periods and helps you stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes. With time it can even help improve your attention span and concentration .

Pomodoro is a cyclical system. You work in short sprints , which makes sure you’re consistently productive. You also get to take regular breaks that bolster your motivation and keep you creative.

Pomodoro Technique is very useful in Scrum teams because allows each team member focus on working (developing or testing or design or so on) on one user story.

Why is Pomodoro technique useful?

Many times people works in several task at the same time which it is so inefficient but nobody realizes about that until you show them with some games or fun activities which demonstrates that work in one task is better than work¬† in many but don’t finish anyone at the end of the day or worse at the end of the Sprint (or iteration if you want).

Scrum works with time-boxed activities, it means for instance the daily meeting has to last only fifteen minutes or less. Why? Because if you spend more time you could lose the focus on the goal of the meeting. In addition, Preplanning, Sprint planning and refinement backlog have to be time-boxed so we can take advantage of the meeting without wasting time (one of the Lean principles).

Lean principles

Lean Principles










Defining Lean and Eliminating Waste 

The Lean philosophy is five-pronged:

  • Value
  • Value stream: identify the value stream / eliminate waste
  • Flow
  • Pull and
  • Perfection

After defining what is of value to the customer we have to focus on identify the value stream and eliminate waste.


If the company has a high turnover rate it would be a good plan to reduce it. Why? Because every company has to invest a lot of time to train new members.

How to use Pomodoro technique in that case?

The company has to invest efforts to prepare great and easy material about the business (and other staff useful for the company) to learn so new members can focus 30 minutes per lesson and take break of some minutes to get energy to keep learning. Even more, companies has to get all the credentials for new members to avoid waste the time of new workers in the first day (or week).

To conclude, Pomodoro Technique is very helpful method to gain focus and avoid distractions!!!

Mario Lucero

Mario Lucero

I am all about helping companies to adopt agile as methodology in Chile. Why? I believe many organizations think that agile is not for Chilean companies because of Chilean culture is totally different from i.e. USA culture but I worked with Chilean professionals who after using agile realized it is feasible to implement it. Agile works in small and large projects and there are many evidences which demonstrate this.

1 comment

  1. Why is Pomodoro technique useful? I get this question often when people see the timer on my desk. As you say, it’s about time-boxing an activity to a certain number of pomodoros. I explain that it’s a way to gamify certain kinds of work by trying to get more done in a certain amount of time.

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