In this post, you will learn how to include your product usage and make better data-driven decisions when prioritizing backlog with a help of the RICE method.
The RICE method was developed by Intercom and is widely used in product management teams for feature prioritization when creating the product roadmap. This framework is suitable for a mature product with an audience where you have product usage data available.
The RICE stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort (or Ease). These are the prioritization metric we're going to assign to each issue to calculate the RICE score.
When assigning the Reach metric assess "How many customers does this impact in this quarter?".
You can choose any time period that suits your project but try not to guess but look at the data you have in hand. Are you planning to redesign filters in your app? Have a look at how many users used them last month and use this number as a Reach metric.
Think about "How does this contribute to our goal?"
This metric helps focus on your goals or key results when prioritizing. The goal can be for example increasing revenue by decreasing churn, improving product retention, and so on.
Now it's time to assess "How confident you're that this delivers assigned Impact".
Let's be honest, sometimes we're just too excited about new things and we overestimate the impact. The Confidence metric should bring us back to the ground.
The last question to ask is "How hard will this be to implement".
Don't forget to involve everyone's effort, sometimes UI changes might be easiest to develop but hardest to design and test.
You can estimate the number of months tasks would take to deliver for one person. If you find this tricky you can use t-shirt size estimation.
The RICE score
Once you have all your metrics assigned you can calculate the final RICE score by multiplying Reach, Impact, and Confidence metrics and dividing them by Ease. The higher the RICE score more important the task is.
If you’re looking for a simple way to prioritize your backlog in Jira have a look at the Foxly backlog prioritization plugin. Foxly comes with 5 predefined prioritization templates and RICE is one of them. You can customize your template in Foxly, add additional metrics or edit the existing ones, change the scoring formula, and so on.
After you select the RICE template you can prioritize your backlog in Foxly which is accessible from your Jira project menu. Once you assign Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Ease metrics Priority score will be automatically calculated for each issue. And once you’re done you can order your backlog from highest to lowest priority score to see the top priorities.
Foxly also stores the Score in the custom field called “Priority Score” which allows you to use the Score across Jira like seeing it on backlog and kanban cards or order your Jira backlog by this field. If you would like to see how you can check out this video or article.
As a product manager, you need to make sure that the whole team is on board with the product strategy, and including them in the prioritization process is a great way to get the team's buy-in from the get-go.
To speed up your backlog refinement meetings you can use Priority planning poker. Poker allows you to create a voting session where you can invite your team and allow them to vote on the priorities.
If you’re looking for a backlog prioritization tool that integrates with Jira where you can use this template you can try our app Foxly. It’s really fun to use and helps keep everyone in your team and stakeholders up to date with the latest priorities.
If you feel that the RICE prioritization technique might not be the right one for you and your team, have a look at other prioritization methods like ICE, WSJF, Value vs. Effort, or Quick wins method.
👉 If you would like to give Foxly a try you can find it on the Atlassian Marketplace.
There is a 30-days free trial and as a bonus, the app is free for up to 10 users 👏
Nikki Zavadska _jexo_Community Leader
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