Story ranking

Story ranking is done to establish the order to work the stories. Ranking enables to manually sort a list of stories by priority.

If you change the rank of a story, the ranks for the remaining story are adjusted accordingly. For example, in a backlog list, the stories are ranked as 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. If you want to promote the story ranked at 4, and override its rank to 2, then the story ranked at 2 moves down to 3 automatically. Similarly, the story ranked at 3 moves down to 4 automatically. You can see the changes after you refresh the page.

It is possible to leave gaps when you are specifying the ranks. For example, if there are 3 stories in backlog, the ranks can be 5, 10, and 15.

Stories can be ranked at three levels:
  • Overall story rank: The story ranking across entire backlog that is, across all products and other stories. For example, the stories across products and projects can be ranked in overall story backlog.

    Overall ranking can also be used for release planning. For example, stories with top 20 ranks across all products in the backlog can be assigned to the next release.

  • Product rank: The stories can be ranked within a product. For each product, the product owner ranks the stories.
  • Group rank: The stories can be ranked within a group backlog. The assignment group may want to rank stories for sprint planning.

Stories ranked in a list appear in the same order during planning in release planning list, or in sprint planning board. Conversely, stories ranked in the planning list/board appear in that order when viewed in the list in the backlog.

Figure 1. Overall ranking example
An example of story ranking in overall backlog is shown.

Adjust ranks

If a few stories are completed, and move out of backlog, adjusting rank using one of the Adjust Rank options adjusts the rank of the remaining stories. For example, if stories ranked 1 - 10 are completed, the first 10 ranks are now available to be used by remaining stories in the backlog. Adjusting the rank, therefore, adjusts and moves the story ranked at 11 to 1st rank, 12th to 2nd rank, and so on.

Adjusting rank also removes any gaps left during specifying the ranks. For example, if there are three stories in backlog ranked as 1, 2, and 4, it ranks them as 1, 2, and 3.

Ranks can be adjusted only from the backlogs.