One of the questions that working professionals get asked the most is “When will my request be completed?” In order to answer, we often look at lead time metrics to give a predictable answer. Looking at lead times over a period of time can give us a pretty high confidence level in setting delivery expectations. It is a strategy for predictability.
When we look at improving those lead times, we often focus on how to improve the active work we do for the requests we receive. We might improve test automation, implement code review process and/or continuous delivery pipelines. Those are all great endeavors. However, too many teams are not aware that the biggest way to improve the lead times for our work may actually be focusing on reducing the time we spend NOT working on our requests.