What is ICE prioritization?
ICE prioritization is a scoring model where a numerical value (one to ten) is assigned each to an idea's Impact, Confidence and Ease and the ICE score is deduced by multiplying the 3 values. ICE is a fast and straightforward framework for prioritising features which is an important part of the product management process.
The ICE factors
Impact - A measure of the potential impact on the organisational objectives. A high score is given to ideas and features that are likely to meet the objectives.
Confidence - A measure of the certainty that an idea or feature will actually realize the impact.
Ease - A measure of the relatively ease to execute the idea or feature.
When to use ICE
ICE is an easy way to quickly prioritize ideas and features, but scoring can be subjective. So it provides a rough and ready start point but is perhaps not as rigorous as some of the other prioritization models. Although it can be useful for relative prioritization, ie when picking a winning idea out of a selection.
History of ICE in high growth environments
Sean Ellis, CEO of GrowthHackers is credited with establishing the ICE scoring model. In a fast-paced and high-growth environment where testing and failing fast and the lessons learned are valuable, decisions can be made quickly with an acceptable ‘good enough’ level of accuracy.
RICE prioritization is a similar framework but it requires more data. Reach is split out from Impact as a 4th factor, which means how many people it effects and how much it effects them is also taken into account.