How to Reduce Cycle Times for Improved Business Agility

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Cycle time is an important metric to define in your software creation process. Generally, cycle time is the total time from the beginning to the end of your software development process.
It’s easy to ignore cycle time as a metric if you’re convinced that your team is already working as efficiently as they can. However, by quantifying the process, it can be easier to see where your team can improve their process. While it can be difficult to define it precisely, so long as you are measuring it consistently across your organization, it’s a useful tool for finding ways of improving efficiency and increasing innovation.
Reducing cycle time can lead to many long-term benefits for your development team. Some of these benefits can include a higher profitability and a faster time-to-market for your product.
Meeting the ever-changing demands of your consumer base can be easier by reducing your cycle times to produce improvements for your products faster. This will also keep you more competitive in an often over-saturated market. There are many ways to improve and reduce your cycle times to reap these benefits and make your process more productive.
Harness the power of container orchestration
Container orchestration allows you to deploy your application across any platform without having to be concerned with making changes for each individual environment. It automates much of the operation to run and manage a container’s lifecycle.
Utilizing a container orchestration solution allows your team to take advantage of the full benefits of container orchestration. Solutions and platforms provide perks like accelerated app development, easier resource management, and improved security. Container orchestration solutions will increase your team’s productivity and make it easier to release your applications across platforms.
Identify and troubleshoot bottlenecks
Detecting what parts of your process slow down the overall development of your application allows you to dig deeper to troubleshoot issues and reduce your cycle times. After you identify the bottlenecks, it’s important to focus on that stage of the process and figure out what specifically is causing the problem. Early detection is often key to fixing bottlenecks, so paying close attention to cycle times and breaking your process down into stages can help. After that, you can proactively tackle the issue and reduce your cycle time.
Reduce batch sizes
Breaking work into smaller pieces and releasing more updates more frequently lessens cycle time. By utilizing this strategy, you also reduce the risk of software changes between teams interacting in unexpected ways. Indicating priorities within the production process will help with producing more frequent updates across teams. Planning with smaller batches is easier since unexpected issues can be quickly resolved and easier to adapt to.
Automate where possible
Keeping away from manual tasks and instead utilizing automated systems can greatly cut down on cycle times while boosting team morale. Continuous integration can help troubleshoot new code as it is developed. While parts of the process are being taken care of automatically, team members are then able to focus on other tasks that are better off done manually. With multiple tasks being worked on at the same time, development happens much quicker, reducing your cycle times.
The bottom line
Measuring your team’s overall performance with cycle times can improve your team’s productivity and efficiency. Ultimately, your goal will be to reduce your cycle times and put out the best possible product to make your consumers happy. There are many challenges you may face in the pursuit of shorter cycle times, but focusing on strategies to reduce your cycle times will make for a robust process that puts your business at a much more competitive level and makes for a better end product.
 

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