Prioritize Work

The backlog is an ordered list of customer requests and reported defects. The product owner is in charge of prioritizing the backlog. Prioritizing means keeping the backlog list in an order of importance. Those items that have been requested more often, or are important to the business are listed at the top of the backlog. The product owner continuously tends the backlog as customer needs shift in importance. This activity is also referred to as ranking the backlog.

CA Agile Central provides two methods by which you may rank your work items depending on your preferences:

  • Drag-and-drop ranking uses position to establish relative priority of a work item on a particular page .
  • Manual ranking uses numbers to establish relative priority within a group of work items.

Your rank method is administered separately for each workspace . Each method has advantages and disadvantages for your style of prioritization. Consequently, changing from one method to another requires foresight and planning. Drag-and-drop ranking is the default rank method for new workspaces.

Caution! If you change from a manual ranking to a drag-and-drop ranking method, your original rank field values will be overwritten.

Prioritize work includes the following topics:

Drag-and-Drop Ranking

Drag-and-drop ranking uses position to establish the relative priority order of a work item on a particular page. With drag-and-drop ranking, you may prioritize work items by dragging them up or down in priority relative to other work items on the page. Drag-and-drop ranking is the default configuration for new workspaces and may be used on most work item pages where ranking is valuable.

Drag-and-drop ranking is used through out the CA Agile Central application, not just the backlog page.

The dnd icon indicates that drag-and-drop ranking is available for the work item. When viewing a board, you can hover over a card to access the dnd icon. Drag-and-drop ranking must be activated by a workspace administrator . In addition, rank must be included in the view and the page must be sorted by rank ascending.

When you create new work items, they default to the top of the page. Child user stories are ranked relative to siblings within a parent.

When you use drag-and-drop ranking, you cannot export ranking values or make changes to them on import.

To prioritize a work item using drag-and-drop ranking from a summary page or custom view:
  1. Select the dnd next to the work item and drag it up or down on the page with respect to its siblings.

    The work item is outlined with a solid black border. A red line indicates the new position that the work item will occupy when the item is dropped.

  2. Drop the work item at its new position on the page.

Manual Ranking

Manual ranking uses numbers in a rank field to assign priority order to a selected group of work items. Use the decimal rank field to assign a priority to each individual work item. In addition to individual priority, you may use other conventions such as priority levels or parent-child relationships to assign rank values.

You can use the rank number to sort work items in custom views, and summary and detail pages. The format of the rank field is a decimal number with 35 digits to the left of the decimal and three digits to the right.

When you re-rank work items, you can apply additional numbers after a decimal point (such as 1.2, 1.21...) This enables you to change the priority of work items without needing to re-rank every work item in the list. You can also use the rank value to indicate parent-child relationships. It is also possible to assign multiple work items the same rank. For example, you may assign multiple work items a rank value of 1 to indicate must have, 2 to indicate nice to have, or 100 to indicate low or long-term priority.

You need to use a consistent numbering scheme when you are ranking items.

To manually rank a work item:
  1. When editing the work item, enter the rank value in the rank field.
  2. Select Save and Close.

Change Your Ranking Method

You may decide to change your rank method after configuring and using your workspace. Although CA Agile Central provides this capability with a simple option button change, there are implications to your CA Agile Central data that should be considered before making such a change.

Changing from one rank method to another may possibly impact your workspace in the following ways:

  • The system attempts to maintain the rank values as they exist before changing the rank method.
  • If you have multiple items with the same rank, the new order of that subset may be randomly applied.
  • If you change the rank method from manual ranking to drag-and-drop ranking, and then subsequently change back to manual ranking, you will not restore the original rank values that existed before the changes. Whole numbers ( 1, 2, 3...) are assigned as rank values in the conversion process.
Important: Once you select Save, the conversion process begins immediately. Users should not be logged in at this time because all user stories and defects in the workspace are updated. The conversion process may take up to 10 minutes, depending on the amount of data in your workspace.
To change the ranking method:
  1. From the Workspace summary page, select Setup from the navigation bar in the upper-right corner of the CA Agile Central display. Select the Workspaces & Projects tab.
  2. Select the Edit icon.
  3. In the Rank Method field, select either the manual ranking or drag-and-drop ranking option.
  4. Select Save to save your rank method and begin the conversion process.


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