The RICE method was developed by Intercom and is widely used in product management teams for a feature prioritization when creating the product roadmap. This method helps remove bias opinions from grooming meetings and encourages to make data-driven decisions.
The RICE framework is suitable for a mature product with an audience where you have product usage data available. If you're looking for a method to prioritize new product or MVPs it's better to go for the ICE method.
How to use the RICE prioritization framework
The RICE stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence and Effort (or Ease). These are the prioritization metric we're going to assign to each issue to calculate the RICE score.
When assigning Reach metric assess "How many customers does this impact in this quarter?".
You can choose any time period that suits your project but try not to guess but look at the data you have in hand. Are you planning to redesign filters in your app? Have a look at how many users used them last months and use this number as a Reach metric.
Think about "How does this contribute to our goal?"
This metric helps focus on your goals or key results when prioritizing. The goal can be for example increasing revenue by decreasing churn, improving product retention etc.
Choose one of the following options:
- 3 for massive impact,
- 2 for high,
- 1 for medium,
- 0.5 for low,
- 0.25 for minimal.
Now it's time to assess "How confident you're that this delivers assigned Impact".
Let's be honest, sometimes we're just too excited about new things and we overestimate the impact. The Confidence metric should bring us back to the ground. Choose one of these options:
- 100% for high confidence,
- 80% for medium,
- 50% for low.
The last question to ask is "How hard will this be to implement".
Don't forget to involve everyone's effort, sometimes UI changes might be easiest to develop but hardest to design and test.
You can estimate the number of months tasks would take to deliver for one person. If you find this tricky you can use t-shirt size estimation:
- 25 for XS,
- 50 for S,
- 100 for M,
- 200 for L,
- 300 for XL.
The RICE score
Once you have all your metric assigned you can calculate final RICE score by multiplying Reach, Impact and Confidence metric and dividing them by Ease. Higher the RICE score more important the task is.
RICE method in product management
You can easily see why is RICE so popular in product management for any project size. In today's world of data-driven mindset, it only makes sense to find a way to include product data and customer feedback in your backlog prioritization.
As a product manager, you need to make sure that the whole team is on board with the product strategy and including them in the prioritization process is a great way to get the teams buy-in from a get-go.
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Seneca