What is “orderBy:importance”?

FogBugz gives you many ways to decide which of the tasks on your desk deserves your attention the most.  You can filter and order your cases by due date, priority, backlog order, or the time of your last activity on the case.  

In reality, though, importance is more complex than any one of those things – for example, a case with Priority 3 is likely more important to you one day before it is due than it is one week before it is due.  Likewise, a case that you’ve been editing all week is likely more important to you than one you haven’t looked at in 10 days, even if they are otherwise the same.

Ordering by importance combines several FogBugz attributes to give you a more complete picture of how important a case is to you.  FogBugz makes the following assumptions about the importance of your cases:

  • The cases that you’ve been working on in the past week are more important to you
  • Cases near the top of a column in the Iteration Planner are more important to you
  • Cases of higher priority are more important to you
  • Cases increase in importance as their due date approaches
  • Cases that are past due are especially important

Here’s how we built our formula:

 

Attribute Formula
Recently acted on (number of actions in past week) * 50
Iteration Planner Placement (100 – order) * 2
Priority (6 – priority) * 80
Nearing due date More than 7 days away = 0
(7 – days until) * 100
Past due + 500 (in addition to nearing due date score)

Some clarifying examples:

Case A is due three days from now. In the past week, I’ve made seven edits to the case. It is 4th in the “Version 4.2.6” column of my iteration planner and its priority is 2.

Attribute Formula Calculations Points Awarded
Recently acted on (number of actions in past week) * 50 7 * 50 350
Iteration Planner Placement (100 – order) * 2 (100 – 4) * 2 192
Priority (6 – priority) * 80 (6 – 2) * 80 320
Nearing due date More than 7 days away = 0
(7 – days until) * 100
(7-3) * 100 400
Past due + 500 (in addition to nearing due date score) Not past due = 0 0
Total 1262

Case B was due three days ago. I’ve made 4 edits to the case in the past week. It is 9th in the “Version 4.2.6” column of my iteration planner, and is priority 6.

Attribute Formula Calculations Points Awarded
Recently acted on (number of actions in past week) * 50 4 * 50 200
Iteration Planner Placement (100 – order) * 2 (100 – 9) * 2 182
Priority (6 – priority) * 80 (6 – 6) * 80 0
Nearing due date More than 7 days away = 0
(7 – days until) * 100
(7-0) * 100 700
Past due + 500 (in addition to nearing due date score) Past due = 500 500
Total 1582

But what if what’s important to us isn’t what’s important to you?

That’s a valid concern, and our algorithm isn’t going to match the priorities of each of our individual customers. If the way we’re calculating importance makes you raise an eyebrow, you can still use our other filtering options. Knowing the way we calculate importance, you can also view the elements that go into it as ways to manipulate the importance of an item as it appears on your Case List page.