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Hierarchical ranking with "Automation for Jira"

Let's assume we have some epics E<x> and some stories  S<y> linked via Epic Link ("issues in epic").

Look at some planning kanban backlog

  • E1 with issues in epic: S1, S2
  • E2 with issues in epic: S3, S4, S5

Look at the team board's backlog

Team 1:

  • S1 (belongs to Epic E1)
  • S3 (belongs to Epic E2)

Team 2:

  • S5 (belongs to Epic E2)
  • S2 (belongs to Epic E1)
  • S3 (belongs to Epic E2)

My question is: Is it possible to automate hierarchical ranking?

Example trigger:
Rank of E2 is moved up in panning kanban backlog resulting in this order:

  • E2
  • E1

Desired result for Team backlogs:

Team 1:

  • S3 (because it belongs to epic E2 with higher rank)
  • S1 (because it belongs to epic E1 with lower rank)

Team 2:

  • S5 (because it belongs to epic E2 with higher rank)
  • S3 (because it belongs to epic E2 with higher rank)
  • S2 (because it belongs to epic E1 with lower rank)

I know this is possible with Portfolio for Jira, but this would require to do ALL rank updates with Portfolio for Jira ... so I would be glad to find a solution to do it also for usual planning Kanban boards using Automation for Jira ...

1 answer

0 votes
Mike Rathwell Community Leader Aug 06, 2019

Hi @Jogi 

We ran into a similar thing and are moving to Structure for Jira for largely this reason. We found Structure to be rather more flexible as it doesn't have "preconceived notions" about how a "portfolio" should be operated. We are using Automation for Jira to set Parent task, child tasks, etc in the Structures. Additionally, it has some great JQL extensions not unlike ScriptRunner for Jira to let you query directly from the Issue Navigator or (somewhat bad practice) use these JQL extensions in the Automation Rules.

Hi @Mike Rathwell. Thank you for your answer! That means you also use an additional separated view (Structure) as we did it also (Portfolio for Jira). And here hierarchical ranking works fine.
So far so good, but I did not already get the point regarding Automation for Jira: Do you use it for "additional improvements" only or did you finally manage to enable hierarchical ranking also in usual kanban/scrum board backlogs using Automation for Jira (How to create the rule exactly? especially how to start?: I see no trigger "Rank changed" or something like this ...)?

Or: Does Structure integrate fully transparent into Jira (in contrast to portfolio), so that it does not provide a separate view, but extend existing board backlog views?

Mike Rathwell Community Leader Aug 07, 2019

Good morning @Jogi 

So.... I'll start upside down with Structure... Structure does have it's own "view" but it's intuitive and straightforward to use even for someone who is Not Smart such as myself. The nice thing is that the hierarchy of issues is completely arbitrary where, for example, one user could have epics as children of tasks while another follows the traditional Jira style hierarchy just... because... and have it make sense for both of them. The nice part is that the "structure" itself is accessible rather more broadly via JQL, the "local" area of a structure that a given issue is in is presented in the issue detail view, and you can make changes to the structure either in the structure view or directly in an issue.

Where it crosses over with Automation (in our world) is that we can conditionally build/update/change structures programmatically.

Basically it doesn't feel SO much like a separate application and you can access it ranging from its own view to a variety of other means.

Regarding your question in Automation for Jira (and I am speaking about this variant on the Marketplace  to be clear), there isn't a "direct" rule for "Rank changed" but would take the form of (and shaped in their GUI)

"If Issue Updated and Rank changed, do <this thing>"

Thank you for your answer!
Yes, we are talking about the same "Automation for Jira" variant.
Unfortunately I still found no option to create a rank based trigger with this tool. There is no possibility (as far as I see) to check "Rank changed" - there is even no field rank in and of all triggers, conditions and actions ...

Most promising approach I see is this (https://docs.automationforjira.com/rule-playground/#/):

  1. Trigger "Issue updated"
  2. Condition "JQL condition" --> "rank changed"
  3. Branch "For stories in epic"
  4. Action "Set entity property" --> "update rank"

But I do not know how to express "rank changed" via JQL statement (step 2) and how to update the rank via entitiy property (step 4)

For 2.

IF: Compare two values

Check if {{#changelog.Rank}} {{fromString}} {{/}} 

does not equal 

{{#changelog.Rank}} {{toString}} {{/}}

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