Order your VSTS Product Backlog based on the order within your Feature Backlog

I know, the title is crap but I just don’t know how to call it properly. Let me just give me the real life example.

I have this pretty straightforward Product Backlog


But I also have this feature hierarchy. Within the features I prioritize my Backlog items. The features also are ranked from most important to less important.


Especially at the start of a project when you create the features and backlog items it is very useful to have them ordered as you see in the hierarchy. Most important feature and most important PBI on top. If you use this as a starting point you can later drag and drop. The order of the single backlog and the herarchy backlog do not match at all and that S*cks when you need it to be..

Excel to the rescue

In order to fix this, you can use Excel to make it right again.

  • Navigate to the feature view of your backlog in VSTS and save the Feature backlog as a query
  • Open Excel and create a new List. Use the query you just saved
  • Add the [Backlog Priority] Colum to the Listcolumn
  • Using Excel Formulas, Replace the large nunbers with something else. I used 10000 and added 10000 for every new Row. After that publish the results!
    That’s it ! After that your backlog is ordered like within the feature view!

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