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Prioritization (also called ranking by priority) and ranking are the primary activities Product Owners perform to determine when items make it into the development backlog. By looking at each work item's priority value, complexity, size, and other factors, they can fine tune which items to schedule in a sprint/iteration before others.
Ranking can occur on high-level portfolio items (e.g., epic or initiative) all the way down to individual stories and defects in a team's backlog. The ranked backlog can then be used as an input during release planning and sprint/iteration planning activities.
When moving backlog items into the backlog queue, you should optimize on both prioritization and ranking. However, some Agile methodologies such as DSDM, promote the practice of taking a mix of high, medium, and low priority items on within each sprint/iteration. That approach encourages the team to pay attention to both big and little things as they move through the release, spreads out the risk, and allows for easier decision making.
In VersionOne Lifecycle, there are several ways to rank work items:
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