Lead Time

Lead Time is a key performance indicator (KPI) that measures the average time for a Pull Request (PR) to move from creation to merge. It provides a comprehensive view of the entire lifecycle of a PR, covering the following stages

  1. PR Raised: The moment when a developer submits a PR to the repository. This is the starting point of the Lead Time calculation.

  2. Review Started: The time when the review process begins, indicating that the PR is being evaluated by team members or automated tools. This stage typically starts after the PR is raised and can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or even days, depending on the complexity of the code changes and the number of reviewers.

  3. PR Accepted: The stage when the PR is approved and ready for merge. This typically happens after the review process is complete, and the PR has been deemed acceptable by the reviewers. The duration of this stage can vary depending on the complexity of the changes and the availability of the reviewers.

  4. PR Merged: The final stage is when the PR is successfully merged into the main branch. This is the endpoint of the Lead Time calculation.

Interact with the chart

The Lead Time metric can be effectively visualized using box plots. Box plots can provide a visual representation of the distribution of lead times.

Why is this metric important?

  • Project Efficiency: you can analyze the complete PR review cycle Lead Time that provides efficiency in the software development process. By analyzing the time it takes for code changes to move through the development pipeline, project managers can identify delays or inefficiencies.

  • Quality Assurance: Lead time can provide insights into the quality assurance process. Longer lead times may indicate delays in testing or quality assurance activities, potentially leading to issues and bugs reaching production.

Best Practices for Optimizing Lead Time

  1. Streamline Your Review Process: Implement automated testing and review tools to reduce the time spent on manual reviews.

  2. Set Realistic Expectations: Establish clear communication channels and deadlines for PR reviews to avoid delays.

  3. Continuously Monitor and Improve: Regularly track Lead Time metrics and identify areas for improvement to optimize your development workflow.

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