One challenge we faced at Twitter was understanding how much time it took to complete an epic. Our hypothesis was that across 300+ teams we could discern a pattern and understand how long a chunk of work took to complete on average.
Of course each team chunked work differently and epics may represent experiments, projects, or even part of a customer journey as is the case with an agile user story map. We hoped that understanding the cycle time better would enable us to improve the effectiveness of the organisation.
Unfortunately JIRA Agile/Software decoupled the status of an epic from the actual workflow using a custom field called “Epic Status”. This meant we could not check cycle time for epics on a kanban board as the epic was never moved to the In Progress or Resolved state.
In this whitepaper I detail how we synced the epic status field with the workflow and understood the cycle time of epics in our organisation.