Ordering Stories not working in Rapid Board

Really big issue here. I am on the latest release of JIRA and Greenhopper.

I have a whole bunch of Epics. We went through the process of doing Epic / Story breakdown, so I have a whole set of Stories related to Epics. I created the Stories using the "Create Issue In Epic" from the Plan mode of a Rapid Board.

Now, I have an enormous issue. I cannot re-order stories independent of Epics.

For example, imagine that I have two epics:

  • 1 Epic: Accept Payment Information
    • 1.A Story: Accept VISA
    • 1.B Story: Accept MasterCard
  • 2 Epic: Enter Shipto Information
    • 2.A Story: Enter One Time Shipment Information
    • 2.B Story: Save Shipment Information on Account

The huge problem is that I cannot order the stories in the backlog in the Rapid Board Plan mode independent of the Epic!

In other words, I cannot have the following in my backlog:

  • 2.B
  • 1.A
  • 2.A
  • 1.B

I can re-order by drag-and-drop, but it is not saved in JIRA. If I click out of the board, then click back in, the "re-order" that I attempted is not saved.

Worse, I cannot even add a single story to a Sprint from further down in the backlog.

I do not see this for stories that are outside of an Epic.


2 answers

1 accepted

(Copying the comment in HJ-1225)

Paul, apparently, you have a structure with GreenHopper synchronizer installed, and that synchronizer is configured to sync both Rank and Epics.

This means that there's a structure that contains a hierarchy similar to what you gave in your example. With that configuration, it's impossible to mix stories from different epics in a single sprint - because their "backlog/sprint" order (Ranking) is synchronized with their position in the structure - which is below their respective epic.

In more detail, here's what happens:

  1. You move a story to some place in the backlog. The story's rank is updated.
  2. GH synchronizer kicks in. Its task is to maintain synchronization between ranking in GH with position in a structure. It sees the story has been moved and tries to move it in the structure as well.
  3. In the structure, the story is under an epic due to Epics synchronization. The synchronizer can move the story within the epic's child issues, but cannot move the story away from under the epic. However, its rank tells that the story needs to be moved further. Having moved the story as much as possible, the synchronizer stops.
  4. Now the rank is still not synchronized, and synchronizer has no option, but to move the story back on the Agile Board by changing its Rank.
  5. As a result, you see that story jumps back in the Agile Board.

As a workaround, you generally have 3 options:

  • Sync only epics (and maybe force sub-tasks) - to manage epic-story-techtask relationships in Structure, but don't manage rank. This allows an Epic span multiple sprints.
  • Sync only rank (and maybe force sub-tasks) - but keep the structure flat, so there's no restrictions on where issues can be moved. This one is to manage backlog with Structure.
  • Sync everything - like you did, to manage backlog and epics at the same time in a single structure. But it follows naturally that in this configuration, an Epic with all its Stories can only be in a single Sprint, as it takes a contiguous part in the backlog.

If you need to both manage epic hierarchy AND backlog in Structure, and need epics span multiple sprints, the only option is to have 2 structures: one for epic hierarchy management, the other one, flat, for stories backlog management.

Hope this helps!

Hi Paul,

You definitely should be able to reorder stories independently of Epics.

It could be a couple of things:

* It's not possible to drag stories OUT of an active sprint - are the stories you are trying to re-order all in the backlog?

* You need Schedule permission to re-rank stories, can you check that you definitely have this? (although you do say you can rank other stories, so unlikely this is the cause but worth checking)

* Your board filter could be set to order by something other than Rank (again, unlikely as you said it works for other stories) - if this is the case, you would see a message on your configuration > Filter tab saying Ranking is disabled, as the Filter Query is not ordered by Rank.

If none of these are the problem, I suggest contacting Atlassian Support at https://support.atlassian.com, and they can help you figure out what's going wrong.

Thanks for your info. I found out the problem. For some reason, the ALM Works Structure Plugin was causing this behavior. I created a separate JIRA project and I was unable to reproduce the same, so I knew it was something in my environment.

On a whim, I disabled the Structure Plugin in my JIRA installation and all of a sudden everything worked.

I created a support issue with ALM to see if they can help me further. For now, I will do without Structure.

Glad you sorted it out! Thanks for the info - useful to know.

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