A cycle time is the time that it takes to a unit to get through a workflow, including each step of the way. For example, if I have a User Story that will go from the backlog to a developer (In Dev), then to Ready for QA, then get pulled by QA (In QA), and then go to Acceptance, I can measure how long the unit is in each of those fields. So the cycle time is the time that it is in those fields and the total time from start to finish. Jira already captures this data, if you go to the reports screen and select "Control Chart" you can find cycle time info for a specific timeframe - hover over one of the circles on the chart and it will give you the detail.
Just to make sure we are thinking of this the same way: The control chart does capture cycle times and you can leverage quick filters to dig into the data a little bit better. The challenge is when you want to dig I'm even further to better identify waste and bottle necks and other trends, especially across many teams. Being able to export the data would be ideal for that but it's not possible.
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