I have a Dev model where I made various changes in the hierarchy (production data), re-shuffling lower levels and adding a couple of new ones. The data itself, however, stayed the same as I didn't delete anything.
I need to transfer the changes to the Prod model now, and I want the data in Prod to be re-allocated in the same way as in the Dev. What I want to do is to unselect "production data" tick-boxes and synchronize the changes with Prod so the hierarchy change would apply. I will then go back and select production data tickboxes again, synchronizing the models again in order to return the lists back to production data.
The main principle of ALM is the datanever moves from Dev to Prod. That includes structures (marked as Production data) as well as pure data
If you are changing the structures of the hierarchy, say adding new levels, that is structural so they will be synchronised, the the actual members of the list will not sync. Think of it as the configure page = Structural and the Grid page - Data.
So in your case, yes, you can set the lists to structural, but that will clear out ALL of the data against ALL of the elements in the Production. I am not sure that is what you want. If you want a totally clean blank model then this is an effective mechanism. you can then set the lists back to Production in Dev.
Just to be clear, when you set a list to Structural from Production it will DELETE all members in the lists and replace them with what is in Dev. You need to be very careful with that technique
It would be better to use a Data Hub as the source for both Dev and Prod and import the data from there into the Production model.
If you are not using a Data Hub, you will have to export the data from Dev (using codes), and then import into Prod. The complexity is that you will have to set up Import actions in Dev prior to the sync, for each module in which you have data.