Query by rank and picklist value in Azure DevOps and Azure Boards

Azure Boards | Azure DevOps Server 2020 | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 - TFS 2013

You use planning, ranking, and priority fields to specify which work the team should complete first. By ranking and prioritizing work items, all team members gain an understanding of the relative importance of the work that they must accomplish.

You rank and prioritize work items when you Create your backlog.

Supported operators and macros

Query clauses that specify a string or integer field can use the operators listed below.

  • = , <> , > , < , >= , <=
  • =[Field], <>[Field], >[Field], <[Field], >=[Field], <=[Field]
  • In, Not In
  • Was Ever

Picklist query examples

Most of the planning fields described in the next section are either an integer or string field. For example queries of numeric or rich-text fields, see Query by numeric fields and Query by titles, IDs, and rich-text fields.

Filter for

Include these query clauses

List blocked tasks (Scrum)
(Blocked field is type String)

           Work Item Type In Task
And Blocked = Yes

Priority 1 bugs

(Priority field is type Integer)

           Work Item Type In Bug
And Priority = 1

Features and stories that address Architectural areas
(Value Area field is type String)

           Work Item Type In Feature,User Story
And Value Area = _ Architectural

Fields used to plan and prioritize work

The following table describes the fields that you can use to plan and prioritize work. Some fields are only valid for a specific process—Basic, Agile, Scrum, or Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).

Field name


Work item type

Backlog Priority 1

A number assigned by a background process used to track the sequence of items on a backlog or board.

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.Common.BacklogPriority, Data type=Double

Bug, Epic, Feature, Product backlog item, Task (Scrum)


Indicates that no further work can be performed on the work item. If an issue has been opened to track a blocking problem, a link should be made to the issue.

You can specify Yes or No.

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.CMMI.Blocked, Data type=String

Bug, Change Request, Requirement, Risk, Task (CMMI, Scrum)


Indicates if the requirement is committed in the project. You can specify Yes or No.

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.CMMI.Committed, Data type=String

Requirement (CMMI)


Indicates if the issue is affecting the critical path of the project plan. You can specify Yes or No.

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.CMMI.Escalate, Data type=String

Issue (CMMI)

Priority 1

A subjective rating of the bug, issue, task, or test case as it relates to the business. You can specify the following values:

  • 1: Product cannot ship without the successful resolution of the work item, and it should be addressed as soon as possible.
  • 2: Product cannot ship without the successful resolution of the work item, but it does not need to be addressed immediately.
  • 3: Resolution of the work item is optional based on resources, time, and risk.

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.Common.Priority, Data type=Integer

Bug, Change Request, Epic, Feature, Impediment, Issue, Product backlog item, Requirement, Risk, Shared Step, Task, Test Case, User Story


A subjective rating of the relative uncertainty around the successful completion of a user story. Defined allowed values are:

  • 1 - High
  • 2 - Medium
  • 3 - Low

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.Common.Risk, Data type=String

Epic, Feature, User Story (Agile)

Severity 1

A subjective rating of the impact of a bug on the project. You can specify the following values:

  • 1 - Critical
  • 2 - High
  • 3 - Medium
  • 4 - Low

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.Common.Severity, Data type=String

Bug, Issue (CMMI), Risk (CMMI)

Stack Rank 2

A number, assigned by a background process, used to track the list order of items on a backlog or board in the web portal.

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.Common.StackRank, Data type=Double

Bug, Epic, Feature, Requirement (CMMI), Risk (CMMI), Task, User Story (Agile)

Time Criticality

A subjective unit of measure that captures how the business value lessens over time. Higher values indicate that the epic or feature is inherently more time critical than those items with lower values.

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.Common.TimeCriticality, Data type=Double

Epic, Feature


Indicates the type of triage decision that is pending for the work item. You use this field when the work item is in the Proposed state.

You can specify one of the following values:

  • Pending (default)
  • More Info
  • Info Received
  • Triaged

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.Common.Triage, Data type=String

CMMI only: Bug, Change Request, Epic, Feature, Issue, Requirement, Task

Value Area 1

The area of customer value addressed by the epic, feature, or backlog item. Values include:

  • **Architectural—technical services to implement business features that deliver solution
  • **Business—services that fulfill customers or stakeholder needs that directly deliver customer value to support the business (Default)

Reference name=Microsoft.VSTS.Common.ValueArea, Data type=String

Bug, Epic, Feature, Product Backlog Item (Scrum) Requirement (CMMI), User Story (Agile)


  1. To change the menu selection, see Add and manage fields (Inherited process) or Add or modify a field, customize a picklist (On-premises XML process).
  2. The sequence of items on a product backlog page is determined according to where you have added or dragged the items. As you drag items, a background process updates either the Backlog Priority (Scrum) or Stack Rank (Agile, Basic, CMMI) field. These fields determine the order in which backlog items appear on a backlog page. They are assigned to type="Order" in the ProcessConfiguration file.

More about Backlog Priority or Stack Rank fields

The Backlog Priority and Stack Rank fields don't appear on the work item forms. (To learn why, see Where is the field on the work item form to order the backlog?.

To add the field to the form: