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

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  • #803756

    JohnO
    Participant

    Hi,

    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.

    Regards,
    John

    #803759

    Nicolas Noullet
    Maître des clés

    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?

    #803771

    JohnO
    Participant

    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!
    John

    #804128

    Nicolas Noullet
    Maître des clés

    You are welcome 🙂

    #816239

    JohnO
    Participant

    Hello Nicolas,

    another question about « rank ».

    When I sort my backlog in iceScrum by rank (default sort criteria in list view), then iceScrum will sort the backlog items in « Ascending » order. I assume that this means that the item at the top has the lowest rank and the item at the bottom has the highest rank.
    Is my assumption correct?

    If it is, then this is the opposite of the behaviour that I would expect i.e.

    As a Product Owner
    I want that my most important backlog items appear at the top of the backlog
    So that I can quickly identify the items I want to implement next
    😉

    At the moment, in order to display my most important backlog item at the top of the list, I have to change the sort order to « Descending ». Correct?

    Regards,
    John

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