Full Resolution Time for Bugs
Median Full Resolution Time is an important quality metric for EngProd teams. It acts as a guard rail when measuring speed metrics like Cycle Time.
Much of the work involved in software engineering is balancing the risk and reward of technical decisions. Much of the time these decisions come down to professional engineering judgement rather than measurement, as you want to prevent severe risks before they become measurable concequences.
That said, in most situations, there is an acceptable threshold of failure that's tolerated. What is important is being able to promptly remedy these customer issues are raised.
Median Full Resolution Time measures how long it takes to resolve a customer support bug when it is raised with an engineering team.
Measures Reaction to Customer Feedback
Like Cycle Time measures the ability for a technical team to react to quickly changing business requirements, Median Full Resolution Time measures the ability for a technology team to react quickly to customer complaints.
Customers are more likely to be satisfied and loyalty developed if a company quickly takes onboard their feedback and addresses their issues.
Measuring Median Full Resolution Time provides insight into the technology needed to support quick prioiritisation, debugging and resolution of bugs.
Aligned with Customer Support Objectives
Customer Support and Customer Success teams often find that customer satisfaction is closely correlated with their own Full Resolution Time metrics. By being able to have low Full Resolution Times on bugs, the Customer Support team is able to have low Full Resolution Time on the associated customer support tickets (instead of needing to constantly put them back on hold status).
This means technology teams are aligned with their operations counterparts and they share mutual objectives, leading to effective communication and reducing friction from competing objectives.
Often the same bugs affect different customers. By prioritising work to "kill multiple birds with one stone" and resolve multiple bug reports with the same change, engineering teams are able to reduce their Median Full Resolution Time.
In other words, this metric incentivises engineering teams to resolve bugs which affect the most customers in the fewest amount of time. This is aligned with business objectives.
Bug Volume Matters Too
It is important to track the volume of bugs and critically their business outcomes too (how much revenue is the company losing due to reliability issues?).
That said, Full Resolution Time is directly correlated with the number of bugs recieved. If more bugs are recieved than the team has work to do, bugs will being to queue up, causing slower Full Resolution Times.
Full Resolution Time is a powerful metric that EngProd teams should use to measure quality.
Quality is fundamentally a balancing act between risk and reward, whilst measurements can help to drive improvements here, professional engineering judgement must remain key.
The role of EngProd is to ensure that when teams encounter bugs, they are able to quickly prioritise, debug and resolve them.