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Pull Rank Explained - How To?

scuba flow
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September 30, 2021

Hi Community,

I've read 10X documents and tried various approaches in Jira Align.


Outcome: With Portfolio Backlog prioritized by Epic and within each Epic, the Features are prioritized, I then go to the Program Backlog and Pull Rank of the Portfolio Backlog.

Issue: Pull Rank in Program Backlog does not flow from Portfolio Backlog prioritization.

Request: Can someone let me know if this is even possible? If so, what steps are required?

Portfolio Backlog priority is not flowing through to Program Backlog.

Thanks in advance!


2 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted
beherst October 4, 2021

Hi @scuba flow 

 There are three rules (underlined items) that are critically important to keep in mind when pulling rank.

  •  Pull rank: You can use a theme rank to sort epics. This option is available only if you have a program or a program and a PI selected on the Configuration bar. Otherwise, to prioritize your epics, you can drag them to the necessary position. The ranking is disabled if filtering is on. As epics can span multiple program increments, epic rankings are independent of the program increment.

Without the use increment the pull ranks will not operate at the levels below Portfolio Epic to accomplish what I think you are intending (or at least what most people intend when ranking their backlogs, which is to FLOW the tank down to the trains/teams for planning and execution through the PI(s))

Step by step - I hope this helps to de-mystify ranking in Jira Align: 

To “flow ranks” in Jira Align

Step 1 )

Start with a single PROGRAM and PI:  (i.e. Mobile and PI 6)- Then 1) Pull Theme rank - Click Apply


Step 2)

Then Manually rank portfolio epics as desired – Note I have moved 561 to #1 for this PI.

Picture 3.PNG




Step 3)

 Expand Portfolio epic to see features -

Drag to desired rank position - ( I added desired rank to title for demo purposes)




Step 4) 

Switch to Feature (or Capability backlog)

From the Feature Backlog Pull Rank using PI rank to sort Features.  (click apply)



Notice that by using the PI rank as the pull option - the Features pull in the order in which I ranked them under the Portfolio Epic using Program and PI Tier 1 settings while in Initiative view.

This also applies going down to the Story level: (if desired) 

Step 5) 

From the feature backlog, expand the feature and rank the child stories - 

Rank before I move:


Change then rank on 2 Stories –


Change to Story backlog, pull rank using select them team/Sprint – Note this is far more in-depth and as a general rule, I prefer and coach to allow the teams to set the rank on the stories once they understand the Feature priority, given that they are the most informed regarding code, dependencies, complexity, risks, etc, etc.

In the example below – I’ve demonstrated that the Team thinks Story 6859, needs to be done (is a higher priority) than item 6860 (shown in sprint view for simplicity)Picture8.png

0 votes
Gonzalo Martinez June 29, 2022


Solution A

 > Program A

 > Program B


You prioritize Capabilities in Solution A. Then you want to prioritize the Features at each Program A and B using the PULL RANK functionality. 

Is the Rank coming from the Rank set in Solution A for Capabilities? or

Is the Rank coming from the Rank set on each Program A and B for Capabilities?

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