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What is Cycle Time?

To measure cycle time, managers should track the time it takes for each PR to move from start to finish.

Author

Nate Melo

Cycle time is a metric used to measure the amount of time it takes for a  task to move from initiation to completion. It is a key performance indicator that can help managers understand the productivity of their team and identify opportunities to improve with solutions such as scoping down PRs or looking into the review cycle to help tasks reach completion.

The Impact of Cycle Time

For better or worse, cycle time can have a significant impact on the productivity of a software team. A shorter cycle time means that tasks are completed more quickly, which can result in faster delivery of software products, improved quality, and increased customer satisfaction. On the other hand, a longer cycle time can lead to delays, increased costs, and decreased productivity.

It’s also worth noting, however, that there could be a cycle time that is too quick. If you are finding bugs or inconsistencies in your code this could indicate that engineers are feeling like they are under pressure (or “crunch”) to complete work. This is where an analytical manager would thrive - finding the kinks in their process even if things look like they are going well on the surface.

Measuring Cycle Time

To measure cycle time, managers should track the time it takes for each PR to move from start to finish. This can be done using tools like CodeGem that track these times as well as provide context on the review process events. Managers can analyze cycle time data to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and make the necessary changes to improve the process.

If you’re managing a software team, cycle time is a critical metric to understand. By tracking cycle time, you’ll gain insight into the productivity of your team and will identify opportunities to improve your process, help your team ship faster and with higher quality, and provide a higher level of satisfaction to your customer or stakeholder.

Interested in finding your Cycle Time? Sign-up to CodeGem for free.