Normally, when an extract recipe calls for steeping grains, I follow the typical process of bringing water in my brew kettle up to 150-160, add the grains, and hold the temp for 30 minutes. Then I remove the grains, sparge, and bring the wort to a boil. Then I add 1/2 my extract and proceed with my normal extract brewing process.
I recently heard of someone separating the steeping process, which would cut down on brew time, and wanted to get some opinions on it. So basically while doing a normal extract brew in your kettle, you would be steeping your specialty grains in a separate pot. Then you would add the wort from the steeping pot to the wort in your main brew kettle towards the end of the boil, say around 15 minutes. You would have to make some slight adjustments to your hop schedule since the SG during most of the boil would be somewhat lower.
An alternative method would be to boil the wort from the steeping grains in that second pot (for something less than an hour) and then combine the main wort and the steeping wort in the fermentation bucket.
I'm not looking to cut corners, was just curious about what others have done in this regard.