What is stack rank?

For those of you new to Scrum, the term stack rank is an unfamiliar term.

However, to Scrum teams, and Product Owners in particular,  stack rank is known..and very important.

Stack rank is the traditional method Product Owners use to rank/prioritize their product backlog items.

When you are adding items to the product backlog, simply associate a value for each item.

There is discussion about what values to use for ranking items, but an effective method is to use a 1 to 3 scale. The scale is as follows:

1 – System/process must support this user story
2 – System/process should support this user story
3 – System/process could support this user story.

Now, prior to each Sprint planning meeting, review/update your backlog and item stack ranks. This will allow the Scrum team to focus on the most important user stories. In turn, this will allow the team to deliver maximum value on the project through all Sprints.

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