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Thursday, July 25, 2024

What Is the RICE Prioritization Mannequin And How Does It Work?

Within the bustling coronary heart of tech, the place new concepts sprout quicker than we are able to are inclined to them, Intercom—a messaging software program firm—discovered itself at a crossroads. Sean McBride, a product supervisor at Intercom, alongside together with his staff, rifled by a buffet of prioritization fashions, looking for the one that might finest serve their distinctive challenges. And whereas these pre-existing fashions supplied insights, none actually resonated with the exact wants of Intercom’s ever-expanding universe of challenge concepts.

So, what does an organization do when it’s caught between a rock and a tough place? It innovates.

McBride and his staff weren’t about to let current fashions maintain them again. They rolled up their sleeves and carved out their very own….

Enter the RICE prioritization mannequin—a recent, pragmatic strategy that melds 4 clear-cut components: attain, impression, confidence, and energy.

By devising a method that churned these parts collectively, the staff birthed a software that spat out a transparent, concise rating for any challenge thought thrown its approach. No extra second-guessing. No extra “what if?” Only a straight-up, goal system to information their product roadmap. And guess what? This wasn’t only a makeshift software—it dramatically refined Intercom’s decision-making prowess.

Stripped all the way down to its core, RICE is a beacon for product managers navigating the foggy waters of product roadmaps. It’s an easy framework, but profound in its utility, serving to groups pinpoint which tasks deserve the limelight primarily based on 4 pivotal standards. Should you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the tidal wave of duties demanding your consideration, RICE may simply be your lifesaver.

Now, let’s uncover the guts of the RICE mannequin and learn the way you can also wield it in your enviornment.

The 4 Elements of the RICE Prioritization Mannequin

RICE stands as a compass, directing you thru the storm of selections with its 4 cardinal factors:


Right here’s the place we step again from our private inclinations, placing ourselves within the footwear of the customers.

Attain asks a essential query: how many individuals will this challenge resonate with over an outlined interval? For instance, for my staff at LifeHack, this may translate to “what number of members will this challenge impression over a single quarter?”.

The important thing? Concrete numbers. No magic, no guessing—attain is framed when it comes to folks or occasions per time interval, be it “prospects per quarter” or “gross sales per 30 days”. It requires data-driven proof, not hopeful conjectures pulled from the ether.


Impression is the muscle of the challenge, the power it exerts on particular person customers. Will it nudge the needle, and in that case, how far?

For one staff, it is perhaps quantified as “how a lot will this challenge enhance the conversion fee when a consumer subscribes to it?”

Precise measurement will be elusive, so Intercom units a scale

  • 3 for “huge impression”
  • 2 for “excessive”
  • 1 for “medium”

It’s a system that, whereas not excellent, avoids leaving us stranded within the swamp of subjective guesswork.


Amid the glint of bold concepts, confidence acts as the truth test. It begs the query: how sure are you, actually, about these estimates? This issue is the reins that sluggish you down once you’re charging forward with little greater than excessive hopes.

Confidence is expressed as a proportion. Easy decisions preserve the method nimble and keep away from determination quagmire:

  • 100% for “excessive confidence”
  • 80% for “medium”
  • 50% for “low”

It’s a second for candid reflection: how strong is the bottom you’re constructing on?


Effort is the useful resource toll: the time and vitality that you just and your staff might want to pour into this challenge. It’s counted in “person-months”, a tough estimate of the work one staff member can do in a month.

Right here, entire numbers (or 0.5 for lighter hundreds) suffice. In RICE, extra effort doesn’t earn a gold star—it really dilutes the rating, reminding you that pace and agility are virtues.

In a world the place ‘extra’ is commonly seen as ‘higher’, RICE flips the script. It’s the quiet however steadfast information that whispers,

“Select correctly. Make it rely.”

How one can Use the RICE Mannequin (Step-by-Step Information)

The RICE mannequin isn’t a posh riddle—it’s a compass, designed to steer you successfully by the waves of tasks and options..

1. Map Out the Terrain

First, jot down a listing of the potential new product options ready to be prioritized. This isn’t restricted to the brand new and glossy; it contains the stalwarts of your backlog too.

2. Assign the Scores


  • Attain. For every enterprise in your listing, gauge what number of customers will really feel its presence. A selected time-frame can preserve this tidy—like customers per 30 days. If income sings to you, MRR is a worthy quantity to serenade.
  • Impression. Foresee the ripples every challenge may make on consumer satisfaction or income. Your scale may learn ‘minimal’ on the low finish and crescendo to ‘huge’. Tune this scale to the melodies of your buyer suggestions.
  • Effort. Sum up the hours or months your staff wants to take a position throughout all fronts—growth, design, testing.
  • Confidence. Measuring the power of your convictions, are these estimates rock strong (100%) or extra akin to throwing darts at the hours of darkness (<50%)?

3. Crunch These Numbers

Together with your scores set, apply the method for every challenge or function:

RICE Rating = (Attain * Impression * Confidence) / Effort

That will help you do the mathematics, I’ve crafted a Notion Template during which you solely have to plug in these estimates.

4. Prepare the Tasks

Prepare the tasks or options by their RICE scores, highest first. Usually, these excessive flyers are the treasures you’re searching—they get constructed first.

5. Huddle with Your Crew

Lay the scores and your proposed route on the desk to your staff and stakeholders to see. Right here’s the place the talk heats up, the place you untangle discrepancies, sort out considerations, or unearth new insights that might sway the journey.

6. Tweak and Revise

Persistently revisit and retune your RICE scores as recent intel rolls in or as your organization’s flag is hoisted in new instructions. This ensures your staff’s vitality sails in concord together with your ever-evolving objectives and that your treasure—time—is spent correctly.

Case Examine

Our staff had a slew of potential tasks, starting from redesigning our web site to creating a brand new course and launching an electronic mail publication collection. With restricted sources, we wanted a rational solution to resolve what to sort out first. So we used the RICE mannequin to assist us prioritize:

1. Figuring out Tasks

Our choices: web site redesign, new on-line course growth, and electronic mail publication collection launch.

2. Defining the Elements

We tailored Attain, Impression, Confidence, and Effort to LifeHack’s objectives—particularly, growing consumer engagement and course enrollments.

3. Scoring Every Issue

For the web site redesign:

  • Attain: excessive—impacting 95% of our customers
  • Impression: excessive (3x), anticipating improved consumer expertise and course sign-ups
  • Confidence: 85% Assured in these estimates
  • Effort: pegged at 2 person-months.

For the brand new on-line course:

  • Attain: 60% of our current consumer base, as per earlier course enrollment charges
  • Impression: excessive (3x), anticipating it to spice up LifeHack’s fame and income
  • Confidence: 80%
  • Effort: 3 person-months.

For the e-mail publication collection:

  • Attain: 70% of our subscribers
  • Impression: excessive (3x), believing it might foster consumer loyalty and encourage course sign-ups
  • Confidence: 90% Assured in these estimates
  • Effort: 2 person-months.

4. Calculating RICE Scores

After the mathematics, the web site redesign had the best RICE rating, suggesting it was probably the most environment friendly solution to obtain impactful outcomes.

rice scorerice score

So our challenge rankings are:

  1. Web site Redesign
  2. E mail Publication Collection
  3. New On-line Course Improvement

5. Verify with the Workforce and Alter When Vital

I shared these rankings with our staff and stakeholders. We had a dialogue, with some sudden insights from our buyer help staff, who famous frequent consumer requests for a brand new course.

Given this new suggestions, we determined to re-evaluate the Attain and Confidence components for the brand new on-line course, which moved it to the second of our precedence listing.

Backside Line

The RICE mannequin is your compass, turning limitless choices into a transparent path. It supplies a scientific strategy, serving to you reply the pivotal query, ‘what comes subsequent?’ with information, not simply intestine feeling. It’s about aligning your staff’s efforts with impactful tasks, justified by clear, quantifiable standards.

As your objectives evolve, RICE adapts. It encourages common re-evaluation, making certain your staff’s focus stays sharp and related.

With RICE in hand, you’ll be able to set sail purposefully in the direction of significant impression.

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