What is Cycle Time?
Cycle time is the time you need to complete something that you have started working on. Each phase of the workflow has a separate cycle time (e.g. cycle time of creating a report, cycle time of reviewing a task, etc.) This is why we recommend to create a new column for each progress step in the flow and track the cycle time for each step of the process.
What is Lead Time?
Lead time covers the process from the initial phase until delivery (the timespan between the task entering the flow until leaving it).
According to the best practices, it is better to start measuring the lead time from the moment a new task/request is committed. Otherwise, new tasks can spend too long in the waiting columns before someone starts processing them and respectively the lead time metric would increase tremendously.
How to configure your Cycle time?
The Cycle time is configured per board. To set it up, please go to the dashboard, where all your projects and boards are located -> select the Board settings icon (the dotted icon) that belongs to every Board -> Configure Cycle Time -> press the Configure Cycle Time button.
Our system tracks the time that a card has spent in each column, then it adds those values together to form the Cycle time of a card.
From the Configure Cycle Time panel, you can decide which columns should be taken into account to calculate the final cycle time of a card. It is often appropriate to exclude the Backlog, Done and Archive columns from the cycle time calculation, as cards are not being worked on when they are in one of these states (this depends on your context).
How to make your card Cycle Time visible?
To make the Cycle time visible to the initial card view -> go to the Grid menu in the upper right corner of your board -> select Configure Card view-> Show Cycle time -> click on Save card view. The Cycle time is measured in days and the number shown on the closed card view indicates the days the card has spent on the board.
How can you track and analyze your Lead and Cycle time?
There are a few ways to achieve that:
1. The easiest way to see the Cycle time of the card is to open the card and go to the Metrics tab.
This tab provides you with an overview of the elapsed time and the logged time for the card - the records are listed by columns. Use the arrows to expand the view of the Kanban generic stages and see all steps that represent your process along with the metrics of the card.
2. Another way to analyze the Cycle time of the tasks and figure it out why things are taking longer than expected is via the charts in the Kanbanize Analytics module.
One of the most popular charts in the Kanban world for measuring the Cycle time and Lead Time of your tasks is the Cumulative Flow diagram.
Some other useful charts that provide insight into the Cycle time metric and your flow efficiency are: Cycle Time; Process Control; Heat Map; Trends; Flows.