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Strategies to reduce your cycle time

This page applies to company-managed projects only.

Learn more about the difference between company-managed and team-managed projects.

The cycle time report helps teams understand how much time it takes to ship issues through the deployment pipeline and how to deal with outliers.

cycle time

In this article you'll learn:

  • How to view and understand the cycle time report

  • What are ways to reduce your cycle time

  • How to spot and investigate outliers

Before you begin

Connect your source code management and CI/CD tools

Your Jira admin needs to have Jira integrated with your CI/CD pipeline. This allows you to receive the deployment data from your connected tools such as Jenkins, CircleCI, or Bamboo. How to use Jira for CI/CD.

Make sure you have enough production deployment data

To view this report, you need deployment events from your CI/CD tool and commit events from your source code management tool. You must also include issue keys in your branch names, commit messages, and pull requests. How to reference issues in your development work.

Check your project and issue-level permissions

You need View aggregated data and View development tools permissions to view the deployment frequency report. More about enabling permissions for your company-managed projects.

Only the project admin can enable the Reports feature from the Project settings.

Reading the cycle time report

To view the cycle time report:

  1. If not already there, navigate to your company-managed Jira project.

  2. From your project’s sidebar, select Reports > DevOps > Cycle time report.

Understand the weekly comparison chart

Customize your report by applying the Issue type and the Epic filters to laser focus your project’s cycle time.

The weekly comparison chart is a larger version of the cycle time insights from the Deployments view. It shows the median cycle time of one week compared to the 12 weeks prior.

Here, we're measuring an issue’s cycle time from the first commit until the code is shipped. If the issue is deployed more than once, the cycle time report will capture the most recent one. The report only includes issues where the cycle time is less than 12 months.

Select a week to see the cycle time report of the issues that were deployed to production.

cycle time report

Analyze the weekly trend chart

Select a timeframe from the date selector filter to view issue data for the week of your choice.

The cycle time report uses a scatterplot to represent all issues that were shipped during the selected week. It displays a cycle time trend, and whether it is under or over the weekly median.

Ship your issues

The Issues shipped table displays issue data, which can be sorted by highest to lowest cycle time or pull request (PR) review time. This table only includes issues with a cycle time less than 12 months.

You cannot see the review time until sufficient historical data is available for your PRs.

Spot and investigate outliers

cycle time

Outliers in your weekly trend chart

When you see a sharp increase in the median cycle time, it’s considered an outlier. Although you may be able to close issues, you must not overlook a spike in your cycle time.

  • Use the weekly comparison chart to reflect on what happened during the cycle time and lead time in your pipelines.

  • Drill down to your issues and analyze the bottlenecks to get insights into deployments.

Different ways to reduce your cycle time

  • Starting small and fast: You can deliver more by limiting work in progress, starting with smaller sprints and producing customer deliverables quickly.

  • Automate, automate, automate: Use automated tools to save efforts and delivery time. You can implement continuous integration through automated releases and invest the remaining time in coding.

  • Slicing the giant PR: Breaking the work items into smaller chunks and iterating frequently enables your team to perform better. It also reduces the review time for the pull requests significantly.

  • Assess the impact: Ensure the product value for the customer and whether the market analysis will help you foresee the impact way before the release.

  • Test-driven development: It will help cover the use cases that help in building a high-quality product and also in creating a future-proof holistic solution.

Still need help?

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