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What is RICE scoring? 

Definition: Rice scoring is a method for prioritizing and ranking project ideas or features based on their potential value to the business. It was developed by the customer communications platform Intercom to create a systematic way of measuring the impact of one goal, idea, product feature, or project. 

The acronym RICE stands for reach, impact, confidence, and effort. The factors measure the relative importance of goals.

How does RICE scoring work?

RICE scoring works by measuring elements of the framework as:

Reach is an estimate of relevant users or customers well affected by features in a time frame. The key to measuring reach is understanding all user segments before calculating the score. It’s up to each team to determine, based on their data, a unique reach value.

Impact is an intuitive metric of how much the idea influences the users. There are variations to measuring all factors with an impact. 

A simple way to standardize the impact is with a five-tear scale:

3 = massive impact

2 = high impact

1 = medium impact

0.5 = low

0.25 = minimal

Confidence is a control tool for reach and impact, trying to determine how accurate they are without bias and how safe it is to pursue. 

100% - high confidence: absolute certainty in success;

80% - medium confidence: often when teams cannot guess few factors; 

50% - low confidence: decision-making information is lacking; 

Effort is the negative factor of the RICE scoring model as it quantifies the sum of work a team member can do in one month, calculating the resources or costs.

The final score is the total impact per time worked measured by multiplying all the benefits (reach, impact, and confidence) and dividing by cost (effort).

What is RICE formula?

The formula for calculating the RICE score is:

RICE = (Reach x Impact x Confidence) / Effort

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Article FAQs

What is RICE in product management?
The RICE (reach, effect, confidence, and effort) scoring model is used in product management to prioritize initiatives based on their anticipated impact and ease of delivery.
What is a high RICE score?
A high RICE score brings more value per time worked. The high score is an input for product managers to prioritize more relevant project ideas or initiatives over others.

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