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Is there an easier way to prioritize EPICs in a Scrum board backlog, other than drag and drop in the filter pane?

At the beginning of a project, we use EPIC prioritization before the EPICs are broken into stories to direct the design teams to the highest priority work in a project.  Even as the project gets underway, we would like to use EPICs rather than stories further down in the backlog to prioritize work.  However, the current method of changing the rank on an EPIC by drag and drop in filter panel of the scrum board is very cumbersome, once you have more than 10 or 15 EPICs.

The shortcuts for changing rank on other issues don't seem to work on the EPICs in the filter pane.

 

 

2 answers

Hi Phil,

I am not so worried about ordering the stories based on the EPIC ordering, although this might be nice at the start of a project.  I am happy to order the stories independently of the EPICs.

I really just want and easier way to order the EPICs in the filter pane, other than drag and drop. If we could have the shortcuts (send to top and send to bottom), plus the ability to multi-select for operations on the EPICs in the filter pane, it would be great.  

However from your reply, I guess there is no way to order EPICs other than drag and drop in the filter pane or your suggestion 1 above? 

 

Thanks,
Diane 

HI Diane, Sorry no easy ways at the moment but certainly worth raising this as a suggestion for Atlassian to review. Phill

Hi Diane,

There are a couple of ways you can move closer to achieving the prioritisation by Epic.

  1. You can adjust your filter for the scrum board to change the method of ordering from Rank (the default) to Epic then Rank. If you then give your title of an Epic a number at the start they will sort in the right order for you.
  2. You can use a Kanban board using a filter based solely on the Epics to prioritise the Epics in advance of working on the sprints.
  3. Are you closing Epics once they are complete? If not this could be leaving you with more Epics in the dropdown than you need.

Sorry there is not a quick way of reordering the stories based upon your Epics ordering.

 

Phill

 

This seems as a pretty basic feature in a project management tool - are there any plans on implementing better ordering/reordering options?

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I agree. This appears to be a very basic feature and a showstopper for using the tool. How do we get this request into the backlog with a high priority?

Like Alfredo_Ramos likes this

Couldn't agree more. This is quite an annoyance and productivity killer. Would be nice if there was out of the box functionality to prioritize in a much more simpler and efficient way. 

Like Alex Davis likes this

I agree as well.  Dragging Epics is very annoying.

Not only is it annoying, but the priority is not sticky at all. As a product manager, I need the ability to prioritize Epics and stories with in each Epic and I need the priority to persist. Outside of this I still need the ability to prioritize the backlog as separate entity and have that persist in the backlog view as well as the kanban view. The Epic priorities serve as a pre planning area to help POs and  BAs to really granularity set priority. The backlog could have stories from many epics being done at any given time and should be able to be managed almost as super Epic. The biggest deficiency I see in the Jira product based on other Agile tools is the lack of the Feature level, so having these priorities work appropriately is even that much more important.

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This. Right.. Here. It's a problem, and you have exactly described what I've been telling my scrum team what I wish I could do in Jira.

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Better management of epics allows to do longer term strategic planning.

 

Being able to score them, categorize them, and so on would make it easier for product manager. We have hundreds of large product ideas in our backlog. (which are essentially all Epics)

 

Until then, my product backlog needs to remain in a spreadsheet. Seems silly given how long Jira has been around.

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It would also be nice to be able to group epics into a theme and themes into an initiative.

Like Brooke_Brown likes this

Hi, I'm just starting with setting up our project (in JIRA Software, classic project, scrum board) and so far it sounds like the easiest way to order epics is the option 2 suggested by Phill in this thread, ie "use a Kanban board using a filter based solely on the Epics to prioritise the Epics in advance of working on the sprints."

I checked and confirm that the ranking you give to epics relatively to each other inside a column on a Kanban board gets reflected in the main issue Backlog of your JIRA project. So such Kanban boards can come in handy when you want to prioritize things of the same nature. I'm thinking of using another Kanban that filters out only the issues of our backlog that have the label "techDebt".

For advanced and more robust roadmap/release management, it sounds to me that JIRA Portfolio was designed exactly for that purpose: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/portfolio/features. But I haven't tried it, so can't say much about it. I'd be curious to hear experience feedback from others in the community! 

Like Brooke_Brown likes this

Portfolio doesn't seem to have good reviews and feels to me like it could be deprecated as they improve their cloud offering.

Has anyone had a good experience solving this in an integratred way using Portfolio for Jira? https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/portfolio/features?_ga=2.230709916.2030024647.1578258969-1429159231.1576848278

Like Brooke_Brown likes this

Agreed, I have been doing Agile PM for as long as it has been a thing and I tried (I mean, I really tried) with Portfolio, but it is just lacking so much basic strategic PM functionality that it is useless. Couple that with the lack of sticky priority (sans dedicated swim lane view) and there is just a lot to be desired.  As a PM, at a minimum, I need: 

  • Sticky priorities for both Epic and Stories (even better if you could add a true FEATURE level as well)
  • Roadmaps that reflect the burndown and dependencies at a glance
  • Provide the ability to configure multiple time measurements on a single roadmap, for example:
    • work that is in dev and will complete over the next 3 months is displayed monthly
    • >3 months out, is displayed quarterly
    • > 6 months out, is displayed according to the half, ie, H2' 2020
  • Also, if Portfolio is to be an entrprise roadmapping tool, the ability to change color scheme and add logos to generate marketing ready materials should also be considered

So I agree, either deprecate this attempt to provide strategic long term product management tooling (portfolio) and just focus on day to day team operations OR hire a PM with extensive PM experience to really bring value to this product. 

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