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Ranking issues in portfolio do not update ranking in Jira backlogs for included Issue sources

After initial setup of Portfolio for Jira with 4 included Issue sources, using a Kanban board for each Issue source, changing issue ranking in portfolio updated the ranking of issues in each backlog in each issue source (Jira project).

All of a sudden this week the backlogs in the issue sources do not get updated when ranking parent issues in portfolio.

Not sure what could have happen. I have added more issue sources so that I now have 9 issues sources which are all Kanban boards in each Jira project.

I am using an issue type I call Feature and I have all these Features in a separate Jira project and each Feature is the Parent Link for all other issues in the other Jira projects.

I am not using Epics at all but have the Feature issue type at the same level as Epic in the Portfolio hierarchy so that it is on top and above all other issue types in portfolio. I also have an isue type I call Enabler which is also at the same level as Feature and Epic so that I can have both Features and Enables in a separate project and both these types can be the parent link to other issue types.


What could have gone wrong with my setup?

1 answer

0 votes
Earl McCutcheon
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Feb 13, 2020

Hi @Jakob Blomberg ,

On the surface I am thinking this has something to do with your note on not using the Epic hierarchy level, as portfolio cannot skip hierarchy levels, so you cannot connect the Standard issue type directly to the Initiative level.

In Jira natively the hierarchy is "Epic > Standard Issue types (i.e Story/Bug) > Sub-task" and adding in Portfolio one or more standard issue types can be added above the Epic level, as covered here.  But this still require the Epic level to act as the bridge from the children of the Epic to map to the higher initiative parent levels as the parent of the epic then the parent of the next initiative level etc, via the level directly above the current level,  so:

  • Initiative level 3 and so on
    • Initiative level 2
      • Initiative level 1
        • Epic
          • Standard Issue types
            • Sub task

So if you are skipping the Epic hierarchy layer rearranging the initiative levels will have no impact on the lower levels when ranking.

If this is not the case Can you grab a screenshot of your Hierarchy configuration and the behavior on the mappings from one of your plans so I can understand the layout a bit better.


Hi @Earl McCutcheon ,

As you can see in the picture below from my Portfolio Hierarchy Levels I have Epic and my two own Issue Types, Feature and Enabler, at the same level with Story etc below and my version of an Initiative, Portfolio Epic, above.

This seems to me would be an Ok structure since it is possible to do it this way in Portfolio but I might be wrong or at least have understood it wrong.

The strange thing is that this setup has worked before with me changing rank in Portfolio Scope view, committing and then seeing the updated rank in each Jira project that my Portfolio plan has as an Issue Source.

What I am seeing now is that if a developer add a new issue of type Story, Task or Sub-Taks to a backlog in one of the Issue sources Jira projects and set the parent link the this issue do not get a rank that matches the parent feature but ends up at the bottom the the backlog even if the parent is ranked higher in portfolio.


Do I need to re-arrange in Portfolio to update rank and then commit to have the newly created issues getting the correct rank in each Jira project?


Best regards

// Jakob


Portfolio Hierarchy Levels.PNG

Hi Jacob,

Did you find a solution for your problem?

I'm looking into the same problem for my customer.

We want to have Product Owners align on ranking of features, not on story. So I have a setup in mind that is similar to yours. We are evaluating the possibilities of the new Portfolio, but at the moment we're not convinced that it would deliver what we need (ranking features results in stories shifting above or below other features' stories)




Hi Kevin,

I concluded that my problem was that when I added new issues like stories or tasks using the Portfolio Scope view and there added the issue under a Feature then the rank for that Story or Task got correct and the issue ended up in the right place in each Jira project backlog but when I added an issue directly from the Jira project backlog, even if I did set the Parent Link, the issue ended up at the bottom of the backlog.

This means that the rank for the new issue, added directly in the Jira project backlog and not via Portfolio, will not get the proper rank before I have done something with the parent Feature in Portfolio.

This in turn means that if my developers add new issues in their respective Jira projects and set the correct Parent link I still need to do an update via Portfolio so that the developers get a correctly prioritized backlog of stories and tasks.


We have solved this by having all developer working directly in the Portfolio Scope view when adding new issues to features and then they can use the respective project backlogs for picking one item at a time for work.


Hopefully this answers your question.

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