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Best practice for exchanging ranks between two work items in a plan?

Jürgen Brückler (69122) | asked Jan 15 '19, 1:29 a.m.
edited Jan 15 '19, 1:33 a.m.

I have 2 workitems that are "owned" by me in a large backlog plan, their rank is 2 (workitem A) and 17 (workitem B).
I can only decide on changing the order of "my" workitems on my own, I am not allowed to affect the rank of other workitems within this plan (as they are owned by other stakeholders).
As priority has changed, I want workitem B to have a higher rank than workitem A.
In my filtered view (shows only "my" workitems) of this plan I want to change this.
Therefore I have to set the rank of workitem A to 17 and the rank of workitem B to 2.
All other actions (like using drag & drop in the filtered view) would affect the ranking of other workitems (that are not shown in my filtered view).

The only way I know so far is to remember the IDs of the two workitems (in case I have a lot more workitems in between in my filtered view), then enter the new rank value for the workitems:

  • Change workitem A's rank from 2 to 17
  • Workitem B changes its rank from 17 to 16 (as workitem A's rank has changed)
  • Find Workitem B and change its rank from 16 to 2
That's quit complicated and fault-prone.
Therefore my question: Is there a better way to exchange the rank of 2 workitems?
Or is an enhancement request for future RTC-versions pending that will offer this via context menu?
Would be a nice feature: Select 2 workitems and click on the "exchange ranks" menu item ...

Thank you!

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Geoffrey Clemm (30.1k33035) | answered Jan 20 '19, 3:59 p.m.

There is no way to do this through the GUI, so you would need to submit an enhancement request.

In particular, even if you do the operations you describe, you cannot control where how those two work items are ranked relative to the work items that you cannot see ... so when you are done, the ranks of the work items you cannot see may have been changed relative to the two work items that you swapped.

In that enhancement request, you would need to explain why you care what the relative rank of those work items are WRT the work items that you cannot see.   In particular, it wouldn't be enough to say that you cannot change the absolute rank of work items you do not own ... you would have to explain why this is important to the business (since the absolute rank numbers normally have no real business meaning ... it is the relative rank that matters).

Jürgen Brückler selected this answer as the correct answer

Jürgen Brückler commented Jan 23 '19, 5:52 a.m.

Geoffrey, thanks for your answer.
Maybe I still do not understand the concept of how ranking works good enough; that might be the cause for my request.

Our usecase is: In a team we have several customer support engineers (for different customers) that will create customer requests in RTC. For each customer there is a ranking for his requests (representing the priority for a single customer).
For the whole team there exists a backlog containing all requests (coming from different customers). They have to bring these requests into a ranked order (depending on the business priority) before passing them to development.
If a single customer support engineer modifies the ranking for his customers requests (e.g. in a filtered view of this backlog), this would affect the ranking in the total backlog (and especially the ranking of requests from other customers).
We tried it with filtered views within the same plan or with subteams (for each customer support engineer) - effect is the same.
Therefore I thought of switching the absolute rank of the workitems in the total backlog (hoping not to affect other workitems in between).
Is there a better way?

Geoffrey Clemm commented Feb 12 '19, 12:53 a.m.

This is a good description of why you need this functionality, but unfortunately, I'm not aware of a way to achieve what you want.  Unless someone else on the forum can come up with something, you would need to submit an enhancement request.

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