Prioritizing stories

Managing priorities

Tracker lists stories in a project’s Current and Backlog panels in priority order. Dragging a story to the top of your Backlog makes it the top priority (after the stories already in the Current iteration). You can change the priority of a story in the Current panel that is not yet accepted by dragging it within the Current panel. Unstarted stories cannot be dragged above started stories, as it’s assumed that the most important stories are already being worked on. Drag stories from the Icebox to the desired location in the Backlog to prioritize them.

Accepted stories are displayed according to the date they were accepted. If you need to change the order of an accepted story, you can expand the story and click on the calendar icon to change the accepted date. Also, accepted stories remain in the iteration they were accepted in, and only move to the Done panel when that iteration is complete.

You can choose from a variety of ways to make priorities visible in Tracker. If you need to move many stories around in your Backlog or Icebox, cloning the panel to more easily drag them to a new position helps. Selecting multiple stories for dragging to a new location, or for updating via the bulk actions menu, can also save you time.

Stories within an Epic Stories panel are also listed in priority order. You can prioritize stories within an epic by dragging them directly within the Epic Stories panel, up into the Backlog section or down into the Icebox section. When you add a story to an epic by dragging it to the Epic Stories panel, you can drop it in the location you want to reflect its priority.

Use release markers to group related stories and clearly reflect their priority.

Prioritizing within iterations

Tracker automatically moves stories from the top of your project’s Backlog into the current iteration according to the current velocity. Although you won’t be able to drag and drop more stories into Current (you cannot drag more story points into Current that your velocity is currently worth), you can click Start on any story in the Backlog and it will automatically move to Current.

As your iterations progress and your stories move from the Backlog to Current, you will see the planned iterations in your Backlog respond accordingly based on the total points planned compared to your current velocity. For example, if you have 40 points’ worth of stories planned in your Backlog and your project velocity is currently 8, Tracker will plan these out over five iterations of about 8 points each (depending on the individual story estimates). As you drag estimated stories to change priority order within the backlog, Tracker will update which stories are in each iteration to reflect the current velocity. Tracker will create new iterations as needed to accommodate newly estimated stories or updates to current story estimates. Going back to our example where your project velocity is 8, if you drag a 5-point story from the Icebox to the top of your Backlog, Tracker will move the stories that no longer fit in that iteration down to the next one, and reorganize future iterations accordingly.

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Estimating stories