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Tracking toward target, taking rank into account. Edited

Let's say my team is working on a huge epic called "Cat-pics". When it's done we're going to have a big celebration with cake and music, so I'm naturally interested in tracking the progress. I e how many issues & story points remain, and at what rate we are burning through them.

Now if "Cat-pics" was the _only_ thing we were working on, that would be no problem: just keep an eye on the Epic report (or just the backlog, filtered on the epic) ... but reality sets in and we realize there is a security hole we need to fix pronto. It's a complicated problem so we create an epic: "Dog-person-blocker" (DPB). 

In order to indicate the priority of DPB-stories, we rank them higher than the Cat-pic stories in the backlog.

_Now_ the problem is that the epic report doesn't help me at all to know how long until we can have cake. I need to combine data from Cat-pics _and_ DPB.

To further complicate things, we realize that only about half of the DPB stories are essential to fix before we release Cat-pics. We move the other half down in the ranking. And then there is another product we're working on which also needs just a bit of love to keep management happy. We put a couple of those stories in between the essential DPB and Cat-pic stories. 

Now: when do we get cake?

The story above is a simplified (and more fun sounding) version of what planning/tracking is like in my team. In order to know when we can have cake I have thus far resorted to: 

1) Making fake "target" issues (eg: "TARGET: Time for cake!").

2) Use ranking in the backlog to represent the order in which things need to be done

3) Rank target issues one step lower than the last issue needed to reach the target. Eg

P-78 pet-preference survey (DPB)
P-79 store preferences in cookie (DPB)
P-80 filter access based on preferences (DPB)
P-92 add german translation (the-other-product)
P-93 use updated color scheme (the-other-product)
P-23 cat-image-recognition (Cat-pics)
P-25 cat-image-correction (Cat-pics)
P-29 Like-button (Cat-pics)
P-81 Move preference storage to backend (DPB)

4) Manually count story points above targets (and make charts in excel).


One thing that would make things a whole lot easier would be if there was some way using JQL to filter issues that have higher rank than another issue. Then I could more easily automate step 4.

Even better would be some built in support & reports for the "target" concept: I e using ranking to determine anything that needs to be done before we can claim to have reached a certain target. (Atlassian, did you take notice? )

Do you recognize the situation? What is your approach? Is there a way to filter by rank I haven't discovered yet?

Further on my situation: I use Jira hosted by my company, I am a project admin but not a jira admin. Getting any changes made (like scripts/plugins) by the admins is possible but is a long process with heavy vetting. It would work if the add-on is very popular, supported and vetted by Atlassian.

PS: I wrote this lengthy story because I have seen other questions where people asked about filtering by rank and got responses like "I don't understand why you would need that". I hope this clarifies the motivation for my case.

PPS: I would never actually consider blocking dog-persons from anything. Dogs are great ❤️!


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