What determines what is on the "top of the heap" in the backlog? Is it Priority? If we put something at the very top, and work was started, but not completed, it went into the backlog at a lower position... need to know how to ensure it stays at the top
Ranking is what is used to determine the position on the backlog. If you complete a sprint and any work not completed would go to the back of the backlog (as it was ranked higher because it was in the sprint) unless you have another sprint open. In that case and incomplete work from a prior sprint will go to the next sprint.
In addition to what James mentioned, to play around please refer to this documentation https://confluence.atlassian.com/agile/jira-agile-user-s-guide/working-with-issues/ranking-an-issue
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