Techniques to reduce time spent in Peer Coding Review status
I have been deep diving into my team's metrics and I noticed tasks are spending more time in the Peer Review (Peer coding review) status than they should be. I want to speed up our Cycle Time by reducing time spent in Peer Review.
What are some techniques I can use to raise awareness of the pending reviews to get them sorted out sooner rather than later? I already mention them in standups but it rarely gets action. Should I put together a dashboard that highlights the Peer Review tasks? What would you recommend?
We use ADO for our issue tracking.
If work in progress is blocked pending this peer review, what are Developers doing instead, and why?
Often a workflow is visualised using some sort of board, which ought to be read from right to left, since this is the direction of pull for work to be finished. A team with good agile hygiene will take care to stop starting and start finishing.
You use "I" a lot of times in your post. It all seems that you believe there is a problem but you didn't mention that anyone feels it could be. You also do not express which of the Scrum responsibilities you are helping to fulfill. Scrum Master? Product Owner? Developer? Regardless of the responsibility, you are not the one that should be fixing an issue. The TEAM fixes the issues that they TEAM feels are inhibiting them from being productive. Have you brought this up as a topic in a Retrospective to see how others on the team feel about it? Have you given any of them a chance to be part of the solution? Do any of them feel that there needs to be a solution?
Having said all that, I agree with @Ian that the symptoms you are seeing are usually because developers are thinking about "their own work" instead of the work that the team has committed to completing. It is very common for a developer to push something into the review stage and grab something else to do until their code has been reviewed. The real power in team work comes when everyone views all the work in progress as their own. Developers have responsibility to do things other than write code. In most organizations, there is a requirement to review other's code, to test their own code, etc. But by pushing something into a new column where "I can't do anything until they do their work", it no longer becomes their problem. Bring this up in a Retrospective and have a serious conversation about it. Don't try to push a solution on people. Let them come up with a solution together. As it is, they can all complain that no one is reviewing their code. Help them understand that they are part of the problem for all of the other people complaining about the same thing.