Increased WIP = Increase in Lead Time

I’ve been viewing our Cumulative Flow Diagram and some interesting stats surrounding the work we are developing, our current flow rate and WIP.  Today I was able to see how increasing our WIP directly affects our Lead Time.

Our big spike is due to all the items being placed on the backlog (TODO) – although some of these may never be implemented more on this in the future! 

To summarize some of the information I can see (and you can’t!):

Average Lead Time for any sized item from inception to live:

  • 35 days – 7 and 11 items in progress
  • 21 days – 2 and 5 items in progress

There are a number of things to note:

  • Variability in size has an impact on lead time – large items increase lead time.
  • Increase in Work in Progress decreases lead time.

 The above ties nicely in to Little’s Law.

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