In projects however there are circumstances where taking the trouble to do this in the family doesn't have the same result in a project. A thread started at Autodesk's Revit Newsgroups where a product support specialist (Alaaeldin_Alsahil) responded with the following:
Shared parameters are shared between families in the project. The first family to load a shared parameter definition into the project defines the behavior of the parameter (in other words when loading a family into the project the description stored in the document is the one that is used). In this case, there was probably a family that was loaded with these parameters defined as "Other than the one from the family".
He then added:
The biggest problem is the shared parameter definition in the document cannot be edited (or deleted!) from the project. Purge unused also does not clear these definitions. There is no way for the customer to fix their file.
He suggested a workaround of creating a brand new shared parameter definition (new parameter in the shared parameter file), so that the definition in the project can be redefined. That's not always possible, in fact more than likely not acceptable either. For this project we'll have to live with the sorting condition as is. He did mention that loading content into project template files don't seem to suffer the same fate. That's good at least from a template standpoint.