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How long is too long for a development cycle?

Development cycles in many organizations last from many months to years. The challenge with long cycles is that requirements will shift and change over time. And if the customer’s need changes and the project doesn’t adjust, it will miss the mark. The goal is to make the development cycle nimble and quick. In order to do so, the cycle time is shortened to something quite short. These short bursts are called rapid learning cycles. They are constructed to be very short. In some cases just a few weeks or even days. This is how long a development cycle on any new system should be: just long enough to answer the impotant questions or generate a new piece of knowledge – and prototype a solution. To apply a rapid learning cycle, try dividing a larger project into short bursts of learning. This creates a faster pace and measureable progress for the team.