iceScrum | What is "Rank" and how can I re-order my backlog items – iceScrum

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    when sorting a backlog in iceScrum, I am offered a range of criteria e.g. Business Value, Date, Effort, Feature, Name etc.
    One of the sorting criteria offered is “Rank” and this seems to be the default criteria.

    However it is not at all clear to me what exacty the “Rank” of a backlog item is!

    I know the term “Rank” from my experience of using other tools e.g. JIRA – there it is just another word for position in the backlog order, but here in iceScrum it is offered as an explicit sorting criteria implying that it is a property of an item and independent of the current position in the backlog.
    However, when I view all the properties of an item, I cannot see a “rank” property or how I could change the “Rank” so that I can reorder backlog.
    Please explain the concept of “Rank” in iceScrum and if and how it can be used.



    Nicolas Noullet

    Hi John,

    You are correct, “Rank” means the position of the story in the default sorting order. This order represents the priorities according to the Product Owner.

    Actually, the rank is implemented as a property of individual stories that you can find in exports, API etc. However, what really matters in the user interface is the resulting list. The rank of an individual story has little value on their own. That is why it is not displayed in the story details panel.

    Changing the rank on an individual story without the context of the whole list would also have little value, as a Product Owner usually needs to position it relative to other stories. That is why the only way you can change it from a story details is to use the “Move to top priority” menu, which does not require additional context. Otherwise, you can change it by reordering stories by drag and drop in the list itself (only the Product Owner can do that).

    It is offered as an explicit sorting criteria so that the default sorting criteria is shown and so that you can go back to it if you changed it temporarily. It is not called “Position” because when the sorting order is different, e.g. “Business Value”, then the actual visual position of the story changes and it not equal to its “Rank” anymore.

    Does it make sense?



    Hi Nicolas,

    thank you for the quick response.

    Yes, that make sense. I had not known that I could drag & drop items to reorder the backlog. I tried it just now and it works. So dragging an item to a new position in the backlog (up or down) will change the “rank” of that item and when I sort by rank I can restore the backlog to that order. Nice feature!

    Now I understand it completely.

    Thank you!


    Nicolas Noullet

    You are welcome 🙂

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