Issue Cycle Time

Defines and explains how the Jira Issue Cycle Time metric is calculated and used

Written by Mike Koeneke
Updated over a week ago


The average number of hours a Jira issue takes to complete once its started.


Calculated from when the issue is first moved to a status category of “In Progress” to when it is moved to a status category of "Done".

Below is a list of Jira status names that map to the "In Progress" category and "Done" category in Velocity (case insensitive).

"In Progress" Statuses

  • In progress

  • Started

  • In development

  • In dev

  • Development in progress

  • Dev in progress

"Done" Statuses

  • Done

  • Fixed

  • Resolved

  • Complete

  • Completed

  • Production

  • Under Implementation

  • Merge to Dev

Simple Issue Cycle Time Example

Day 1: Issue created in To Do
Day 2: Issue moved to In Progress
Day 3: Issue moved back to To Do
Day 4: Issue moved back to In Progress
Day 5: Issue moved to Done.

The issue cycle time will be (Day 5 - Day 2) = 3 days.

Why it Matters

Like PR Cycle Time, which represents your team’s Time To Market using PR data, Issue Cycle Time allows you to understand how long issues (stories, bugs, tasks, etc.) take from start to completion.

How to use it

Issue Cycle Time can be viewed along with PR Cycle Time as your team’s speedometer. Use it to understand baseline productivity over time, and to check for any changes in the team’s process that caused a positive or negative effect on this metric.

If Issue Cycle Time is high it could mean that your developers have a lot of Work In Progress, that requirements are unclear, or that the QA process is taking too long.

This metric is not diagnostic, so to identify why Issue Cycle Time is high, you’ll want to look at other metrics that make up the software development process, such as Time to Open, Time to Review, Time to Merge, or Review Cycles.


  • Can I change the status to category mapping in Velocity? No, these mappings are not customizable at this time.

  • Can I exclude an issue from Issue Cycle Time? No. While you can exclude pull requests and commits in Velocity, it is not currently possible to exclude individual Jira issues from Issue Cycle Time.

Did this answer your question?