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What is the RICE scoring model for prioritization?

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The RICE scoring model is a framework designed to help product managers determine which products, features, and other initiatives to prioritize on their roadmaps by scoring these items according to four factors. These factors, which form the acronym RICE, are reach, impact, confidence, and effort.

Using a scoring model such as RICE can offer product teams a three-fold benefit. It can enable product managers to make better-informed decisions, minimize personal biases in decision making, and help them defend their priorities to other stakeholders such as the executive staff.

History of the RICE scoring model

Messaging-software maker Intercom developed the RICE roadmap prioritization model to improve its own internal decision-making processes.

Although the company’s product team knew about and had used the many other prioritization models for product managers, they struggled to find a method that worked for Intercom’s unique set of competing for project ideas.

To address this challenge, the team developed its own scoring model based on four factors (reach, impact, confidence, and effort), and a formula for quantifying and combining them. This formula would then output a single score that could be applied consistently across even the most disparate types of ideas, giving the team an objective way to determine which initiatives to prioritize on their product roadmap.

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