The RICE Feature Prioritization Framework: When and How to Use It
One of the responsibilities of product managers is to identify the most important projects to work on. Prioritizing is a necessary component of this task.
Having limited resources and too many features can be daunting. Choosing which features to work on and at what point in the process is absolutely essential to prevent delays and a poorly implemented product.
This is where a prioritization framework comes in. A good scoring system will help you consider all of a project idea's fundamental elements with discipline and combine them in a methodical and logical way.
Score-based prioritization using RICE Framework
The RICE prioritization framework is a model recently developed by the team at Intercom, an app designed to connect companies and customers.
The Intercom team felt that standard prioritization frameworks lacked the flexibility and were disconnected from what matters most when making a decision about what initiatives, features, improvements to prioritize.
As a result, they tried to create a new approach for weighing ideas, functionalities, and projects to clearly demonstrate to stakeholders the reasons and the results of adding initiatives to their roadmap.
In this article, we will quickly share the fundamentals about RICE. We will try to go beyond the original post of Sean Mc Bride who co-developed the RICE prioritization as a Product Manager in the early days of Intercom.
Our goal is to help you understand WHEN you should use the RICE Prioritization Framework and HOW to deploy it in your team.
First, let’s start with a quick definition.
What is the RICE Scoring Model for Prioritization?
RICE is the acronym for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort, the four factors we use to evaluate each project idea.
In order to better understand how to calculate the parameters and then finally implement this prioritization framework in your company, let's first take a quick look at how the different elements work and the questions they answer:
We recently added a RICE Prioritization BOARD to the ProdCamp prioritization module.
What is Rice prioritization framework?
The RICE prioritization framework is a method used in product management to prioritize features and initiatives based on four key factors: Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. It helps product managers and teams make data-driven decisions when deciding which features to work on next. Here's an overview of each component: Reach (R): Reach measures how many users or customers will be affected by a particular feature or initiative. It quantifies the potential audience impacted by the change. Reach is usually expressed as a numerical value, such as the number of users, customers, or sessions affected. Impact (I): Impact assesses the potential positive or negative effect a feature or initiative will have on users or the business. It quantifies the magnitude of the change and its significance. Impact is typically scored on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 indicating the highest impact. Confidence (C): Confidence reflects the level of certainty or confidence the team has in the estimated values for Reach and Impact. It considers the reliability of the data and assumptions used to calculate Reach and Impact. Confidence is often expressed as a percentage, where a higher percentage indicates greater confidence. Effort (E): Effort quantifies the resources, time, and complexity required to develop and implement the feature or initiative. It takes into account factors like development time, design work, testing, and any other required resources. Effort is typically measured in person-hours or person-days. The RICE framework helps prioritize features by calculating a RICE score for each feature or initiative. The formula for calculating the RICE score is: RICE Score = (Reach x Impact x Confidence) / Effort Features with higher RICE scores are considered higher priorities because they have the potential to reach a large audience (high Reach), deliver significant value (high Impact), and have a reasonable level of confidence in the estimates (high Confidence) while requiring relatively less effort (low Effort). Using the RICE framework allows product teams to focus on initiatives that offer the greatest potential impact with the least amount of effort. It provides a structured and quantitative way to make prioritization decisions, especially when dealing with limited resources and a backlog of feature ideas.
How do you calculate rice priority?
To calculate the RICE priority score for a product feature or initiative, you can use the following formula: RICE Score = (Reach x Impact x Confidence) / Effort Here's a breakdown of each component and how to calculate them: Reach (R): This represents the potential number of users or customers who will be affected by the feature. It's typically measured in a numerical value. To calculate Reach, you can estimate the number of users or customers who will directly interact with or benefit from the feature. For example, if you expect 10,000 users to use the feature, Reach would be 10,000. Impact (I): Impact measures the magnitude of the change that the feature will bring. It's typically scored on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 indicating the highest impact. You should assess how significantly the feature will improve or affect user experience or business outcomes. For example, if you believe the feature will have a substantial impact, you might assign an Impact score of 9. Confidence (C): Confidence reflects the level of certainty you have in your estimates for Reach and Impact. It's expressed as a percentage. You can base Confidence on the quality of your data, user research, and historical data. For example, if you have high confidence in your estimates, you might assign a Confidence score of 80%. Effort (E): Effort quantifies the resources, time, and complexity required to develop and implement the feature. It's often measured in person-hours or person-days. You should estimate the development effort, design work, testing, and other resource requirements. For example, if you estimate that the feature will take two weeks of development time, Effort would be the equivalent of those person-hours. Once you have these values for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort, you can plug them into the formula to calculate the RICE score. Features with higher RICE scores are considered higher priority because they represent initiatives with the potential for significant impact relative to the effort required. It's important to note that the RICE framework is a relative prioritization method, so you can compare the RICE scores of different features to determine which should be prioritized first. The feature with the highest RICE score typically takes precedence in your product roadmap.
What is an example of rice Prioritisation?
Let's consider an example of how the RICE prioritization framework might be applied to two different product features, Feature A and Feature B: Feature A: Reach (R): 5,000 users will directly benefit from this feature. Impact (I): This feature is expected to have a significant impact on user engagement and retention, with a score of 9. Confidence (C): The team is confident in the estimates, with a confidence level of 90%. Effort (E): Developing this feature will require approximately 2 weeks of development work, which is equivalent to 80 person-hours. Using the RICE formula: RICE Score for Feature A = (5,000 x 9 x 0.90) / 80 = 506.25 Feature B: Reach (R): 10,000 users will be affected by this feature. Impact (I): While valuable, this feature is expected to have a moderate impact on user experience, with a score of 6. Confidence (C): The team has moderate confidence in the estimates, with a confidence level of 70%. Effort (E): Developing this feature will require approximately 3 weeks of development work, equivalent to 120 person-hours. Using the RICE formula: RICE Score for Feature B = (10,000 x 6 x 0.70) / 120 = 350 In this example, Feature A has a higher RICE score of 506.25 compared to Feature B with a score of 350. Based on the RICE scores, Feature A would be considered a higher priority because it is expected to have a more significant impact on a slightly smaller user base, with a higher level of confidence in the estimates, and with relatively less effort required for development. Therefore, the team might prioritize the development of Feature A ahead of Feature B in their product roadmap.
What does the rice framework stand for?
The RICE framework stands for: 1. Reach (R): This represents the number of users who will be affected by a particular feature or project. It quantifies the potential user reach or audience impacted by the feature. 2. Impact (I): Impact refers to the potential impact or benefit that the feature will have on users or the business. It quantifies how valuable or significant the feature is expected to be. 3. Confidence (C): Confidence measures the level of certainty or confidence that the team has in the estimations for reach and impact. It accounts for the degree of uncertainty in the data. 4. Effort (E): Effort represents the amount of time, resources, or effort required to develop and implement the feature. It quantifies the development or implementation cost. The RICE framework is often used in product management to prioritize features or projects by calculating a score based on these four factors. It helps product teams make informed decisions about which features to prioritize in their product roadmap.