Leaders and Managers across Software development organizations like their teams to build Software Products, Applications and implement any Changes in no time. They would be very happy if there is some magic wand, just swoosh with a hand and see their  desired Change. Teams operating under a good Culture, high performance  environment and a right leader develops software, implements Changes in no Time.

The time it takes for a new feature, idea, or some type of modification to reach production and eventually the Customer is the Cycle Time and a mean or an appropriate measure of the Central tendency of the group of Cycle Times of the team is termed as ‘Mean Time to Change (MTTC).

How long does it typically take for a new feature, idea, correction, or other type of modification to be put into production and eventually reach our customers? From the time you spot an opportunity until you can take advantage of it, that period is known as MTTC. You can respond to market changes more quickly if MTTC is faster.This blog discusses the mean time to change or cycle time required for each business unit in the software development process

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What is Cycle Time?

Cycle Time as a concept has its roots in the manufacturing industry and was introduced in Lean Manufacturing. But it has found to be very much applicable and effective in multiple domains beyond its applications in manufacturing.

In simple terms, Cycle Time is the time required to complete a process, as timed by actual measurement.

Cycle Time is the average time taken to finish one unit or a process. You can measure the Cycle Time for a complete workflow or a part of a process.

Cycle Time is the actual time spent working on an item as measured from the time the work begins to the time the work is finished to an extent that the product is potentially ready to serve the customers.

In Software development cycle time measures the amount of time from work started to work delivered. It is one of the most important metrics for software development teams. In simple terms, cycle time measures the amount of time from first commit to production release.

Cycle time is a measure of the elapsed time when work starts on an item (story, task) until it’s ready for delivery. It tells how long it takes to complete a task.

What is Cycle Time a measure of?

Cycle Time is a measure of how quickly work passes through the system from the time work comes to the “In-Progress” state to the “Done” state.

Cycle Time provides interesting insights into the Engineering Practices in a team. In short, Cycle Time measures the time it takes for your team to complete work items once they begin actively working on them. It is closely related to the efficiency of the team and also provides indicators of wait times and other impediments which could affect the efficiency.

Why Cycle Time is important?

Cycle Time provides a very important indication when the customer can expect the deliverable. Simply put, Cycle Time provides an indication of how much time it takes to introduce a change.

There are various metrics teams and organizations can use to track the progress of their work. But if there is a single most important one, it has to be Cycle Time. A shorter cycle time indicates shorter time-to-market and a quicker ability to validate deliverables with end customers.

Kaiburr keeps continuous track of the mean time / cycle time of each and every unit through the powerful and unified Measurement and Benchmarking dashboard of its standardized DevSecOps interface.

How to reduce Cycle Time?

You cannot control what you cannot measure. So the first step is really to measure the Cycle Time of individual work items (user stories / tickets/ cards).

Reducing Cycle Time is one of many ways to keep the operations on a steady, manageable schedule.

Cycle Time is a combination of various factors including but not limited to the following:

  1. Competency of the team
  2. Requirements’ definition
  3. Dependencies external to the team
  4. Wait times
  5. Blockers/impediments/challenges

In a typical software product development, the following could be some of the leading questions to ask when optimizing Cycle Time:

  1. Is there enough information to begin realizing a requirement?
  2. Are code reviews causing delays?
  3. Are external dependencies preventing smooth integration?

Kaiburr, with effective and optimal DevSecOps operations, helps in measuring cycle time / mean time  required for a process  to complete.

Practices to improve Cycle Time

  1. Effective use of DevSecOps tools.
  2. Optimal DevSecOps operations with high availability and self-service.

    With just 15 minutes of configuration, Kaiburr produces real-time actionable insights on end-to-end software delivery with its best practices and AI/ML models. Kaiburr integrates with all the tools used by the enterprise Agile teams to collect the metadata and generates digital insights with a sophisticated next generation business rules engine.

    The metric ‘Mean Time to Change’ is quite beautifully shown on Kaiburr dashboards with some AI generated insights.

Mean time to change

You can also track and measure other KPIs, KRIs and metrics like Change Failure Rate, Lead Time for Changes, Deployment Frequency. Kaiburr helps software teams to measure themselves on 350+ KPIs and 600+ Best Practices so they can continuously improve every day.

Reach us at contact@kaiburr.com to get started with metrics driven continuous improvement in your organization.