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How to manage your team's Lead Time efficiently?

Every product team faces a variety of internal and external factors that may affect the growth and development of their product. A successful product manager uses customer and user feedback as part of the product's development plans and ensures the product is in tune with the market changes and demands. 

What are the metrics that can help in decision-making?


Lead Time is one metric you cannot skip if you aim to ensure high customer satisfaction. Ignoring this metric will interrupt the cycle of any operation and mess up your plans. 


What is Lead Time?

Lead Time is a term borrowed from manufacturing and calculates the time elapsed between a customer placing an order and receiving the product ordered.

In software development, the lead time is defined as the time elapsed between identifying a requirement and its fulfillment. In other words, the "lead time" is the time elapsed when a customer requests a new feature to the point that it is delivered. Of course, it is clear that the faster a customer receives a high-quality product, the more satisfied they will be.


Lead Time in Kanban 

Lead Time is core to Kanban; teams regularly measure Lead Time to estimate the client's approval. Using this metric in Kanban will reveal how quickly the team responds to customers' needs, while at the same time keeping track of the teams' performance.


Lead Time in Scrum 

In Scrum, Lead Time is constant. Since Scrum is a time-boxes approach, the lead time is the length of the sprint. Lead Time can help Scrum teams become more efficient while adding some predictability to their ability to deliver value. 


Lead Time challenges and how to avoid them

The biggest challenge a product manager can face is "High Lead Time." Usually, it occurs when one of the following issues disrupts the operation:

  • Unclear plans

  • Lack of communication between team members

  • Unorganized tasks and tickets

  • Unmanageable and cluttered backlog

  • Lack of resources

  • Delay in decision-making

It is not challenging to reduce Lead Time when pursuing an effective plan. However, proper communication with the team and customer is vital in reaching the right target and meeting the customers' needs. 

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