RICE Prioritization Framework

RICE was first proposed by Sean McBride at Intercom as a way to identify and quantify the most important inputs for prioritization. RICE stands for the four key components that are used to assess value: 

  • Reach: how many users are ultimately affected by a product idea/initiative
  • Impact: magnitude of improvement for users from this product idea/initiative
  • Confidence: amount of evidence backing up your hypothesis
  • Effort: design and engineering work required to bring this idea to life


When we think about the reach of a given initiative, we want to evaluate its ultimate beneficiaries/users. That is, while you might use A/B testing for its initial implementation, you want to consider how large of a population of your customers it will touch once you’ve rolled it out.

The three classifications we can use here, as well as their associated scores may be as follows:

  • Everyone in your current user segment (4 points)
  • Some of the users in your current target segment (2 points)
  • New users who aren’t using your product right now (1 point)


Projected impact is an assessment of “how large may be the impact of this initiative” by having quick, informal conversations with stakeholders such as marketing, sales, product development colleagues, etc.

The three classifications and their associated scores may be as follows:

  • Game changer (4 points)
  • Significant value (2 points)
  • Some value (1 point)


All else equal, we should prefer to develop lower-risk products over higher-risk products, if and only if they have similar ratios of benefits vs. costs.

We can use this 3-part scale:

  • High confidence (80%) – the idea is backed by extensive qualitative feedback and quantitative metrics
  • Medium confidence (50%) – the idea has either extensive qualitative feedback or extensive quantitative metrics, but not both
  • Low confidence (30%) – the idea has limited qualitative feedback and/or quantitative metrics.


For the purpose of prioritization, most product development or engineering teams will have an intuitive sense of “what order of magnitude we’re talking about” for any given initiative. Therefore, we don’t need to get into debates of whether an initiative will take 3.5 development months or 4.5 development months.

Instead, we can use this four-part scale for effort:

  • Large effort, i.e. more than one development-year (4 points)
  • Medium effort, i.e. more than one development-quarter (2 points)
  • Small effort, i.e. 1-3 development months (1 point)
  • Trivial effort, i.e. less than 1 development month (0.5 points)

Calculate RICE Score to Prioritize Ideas

Note: Make sure to enter % sign in the ‘Confidence’ column.

Project/Idea Reach Impact Confidence Effort RICE score
Example Project 4 4 80% 2 2000