Look at this posts, maybe can help you
When ranking is enabled in Jira for your project
Jira activates the Rank field so as to help in the ranking logic (the magic of rank happens when you drag and drop a item in the backlog)
When there is a need to prioritize items in your backlog (which is very much required in a competitive world), there may be situations when the dev team or Product owner decides that they want to develop the stories in a specific order so that their development gets easier, or its a business need..etc.., they move the items up and down in the backlog. (rank them)
To understand better, just change the order of items in your backlog (dont mix up everything :D, just try with one or two), immediately check the activity tab of that issue, and you will get an idea of how its working.
Hope this helps.
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