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3 tools to analyze Cycle and Lead Time in the Jira

When a team has hundreds or thousands of simultaneous issues and queries waiting and working, it is difficult to track the rationality of time allocation and team performance. It is easy to break the deadline or keep the process frozen for an unacceptable amount of time. This usually impairs the project flexibility, threatens the entire process, and causes losses to the company. Therefore, it is important to set up an effective process monitoring system. This is well handled by Jira.

Cycle time is the time from the beginning to the end of a certain action. It is the time during which the issue is marked as "In progress". The statuses used to calculate cycle time depend on the workflow you're using for your project.

Lead time covers a longer period of time: from receiving a request for an action (not when work begins) to the moment this action is completed, including the time in the queue.

1. Jira Control Chart 

The Control Chart is a built-in Jira solution that allows you to assemble and evaluate the overall Cycle Time and Lead Time of Jira's classic project (for example, a sprint, a specific version of your product or service, or any other unit you specify) as quickly as possible.

You can find this tool in the Reports tab. On this chart, the X-axis shows calendar dates and the Y-axis shows elapsed time (in days). With Jira Chart you can:

  • select a specific point (issue or cluster of issues) and see average data on it; 
  • select and analyze the period of interest in a chosen project;
  • change the analysis period. 

Control Chart.gif

Also, you can edit the report quickly using instant filters, column settings, and display adjustments (for example, it is useful to eliminate non-working days.  So they do not distort the analysis).

If your project has minimal deviations from the average Cycle (Lead) Time, you can make optimistic predictions: your project pipeline will run smoothly. Strong leaps on a diagram of the Control Chart indicate workflow problems in your team. It can be: 

  • long waiting periods,
  • delays, 
  • downtimes on pause, 
  • inappropriate Cycle time compared to average values etc. 

All outliers at the top of the schedule could be the reason for a conversation about personal productivity with the team members.

In general, the Control Chart is a useful tool for quickly understanding the overall situation in a project. In Jira Control Chart, you can monitor average time data and a graphic view is available for analysis. 


To enhance Jira Cloud in quick orientation in Cycle (Lead) time bottlenecks, our SaaSJet team has developed such applications as Time in Status for Jira Cloud and Time Between Statuses (works for Jira`s classic and next-gen projects).

Those tools created to give more freedom in making informative reports. They help to dig deeper into the monitoring of different types of statuses and notify the leads of the project about the emerging problem. If a certain team player is stuck on a certain work issue for example.

2. Time in Status for Jira Cloud

Time in Status for Jira Cloud  - add-on from Atlassian Marketplace, which lets you to get Cycle and Lead time by setting Status Groups. You can configure it from your account at the Column Manager with the drop-down list of the statuses. At the status group column, time will be summarized in accordance with custom statuses. column maneger tis.gif

For example, if you set the statuses for the Cycle time, you can eventually see the total time for different “in progress” stages. For instance, if you are using the 'Jira Software Development' workflow, for your team the work on issue starts at 'In Progress' status, and completed when it moves from 'In Review' to 'Done'. So the Cycle time column will include 'In Progress' and 'In Review' statuses.

Time in status gif.gif


You can customize your reports with Cycle or Lead Tіme:

  • choose the necessary issue list from projects, sprints, apply flexible filters with tags, 
  • set the appropriate date range and data format, 
  • exclude non-working hours from the Cycle or Lead Time calculation with multi-calendar

A custom report can be placed on the main Jira dashboard with the special Gadget tool.

In addition to the main report of this app, you can use such report types for Cycle or Lead Time as:

  • Average Cycle or Lead Tіme (at the report Average time), 

  • Cycle and Lead Time for each assignee (at the report Assignee time), 

  • Cycle or Lead Tіme per Date (report Time in Status per Date), 

  • Status Count — how many times the issue was at the statuses from Status Group. 

Users can analyze all these reports in details by exporting data to Excel or Google Sheets (XLSX or CSV format).

3. Time Between Statuses

Time Between Statuses (Cloud & Server) is also the app from Atlassian Marketplace but has some differences from the previous one. It measures connections in workflow, through a transition time in specific issues. This app helps to find the problem area and informs about it in time. So you can quickly fix it. 

You can count Cycle and Lead Time by setting start/stop and pause statuses in the configuration manager. To detail the calculation conditions you should select the first/last transition to/from status. It gives the timer more flexibility. 

Status group tbs gif.gif

 This plugin also allows you to calculate status to status time for other statuses that are part of the workflow.

With a large number of processes, an extremely useful feature is the ability to get visual alerts. So you can set up Warning time limits. If too much time is spent on a specific issue, the system will send an email notification to the specified admin. You can also set the Critical time limit. This is a kind of final warning and can highlight the project manager of a serious problem in how the workflow goes. The opportunity to identify, or to prevent a problem, helps to avoid significant losses.

TBS with arrows gif.gif

You can customize your Cycle and Lead Time reports by adjusting the app interface fields such as: 

  • Type of Project
  • Date range
  • Time Format
  • Multi Calendar (to configure non-working hours and different calendars.)

At the Issue View Panel, you can visualize transition time for a specific issue. It's a progress bar with a green, yellow, or red zone. Time Between Statuses also allows you to export data you need to analyze Cycle and Lead Time in more detail with the tools you need.

It is very important to accurately monitor and save time in the workflow. There are two important concepts in this area: Cycle Time and Lead Time. To get them you can use built-in solution Control Chart or solutions from Atlassian Marketplace. Our SaaSJet team offers such solutions as Time in Status for Jira Cloud and Time Between Statuses. 

If you monitor Cycle and Lead Time, write in comments which tools you use. If you do not, add Cycle and Lead Time to the analysis of the team's effectiveness. Based on this review, choose the tool that best suits you and meets your needs. Try one of these solutions and let us know which one approaches you better! Hope this article will help you to analyze a Cycle and Lead Time more effectively.


Like # people like this

Awesome....great way for the teams to improve

Like # people like this

Does the solution provide the capability to generate the following report.....



Like Anthony Kozlov_SaaSJet_ likes this

Hi @John Morales 

You can try the Pivot table feature in Time in Status for Jira Cloud:

1. Go to Pivot table view 

2. Set Fields

imgpsh_fullsize_anim (2).png

3. As the result you will get such data

imgpsh_fullsize_anim (1).pngHope this will help you


Like Anthony Kozlov_SaaSJet_ likes this

@Zoryana Bohutska _SaaSJet_  Thank you for the reply back. We are using Jira Software Datacenter Edition. Do you have a "Time in Status for Jira Data Center" version? If yes, do you have a free trial to evaluate the solution?

Like Anthony Kozlov_SaaSJet_ likes this

@John Morales, Unfortunately, we don't have a version for Data Center now. But we are considering to add it to this product roadmap. Thank you for the request.

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