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Ever wondered how to prioritize growth experiments or features for your product? In this post, we'll have a look at the simple ICE prioritization method initially developed to prioritize growth experiments but given its simplicity, it gained popularity in all types of projects. The acronym ICE stands for Impact, Confidence and Ease.
The ICE method is especially useful when building new products, MVPs, or even prioritizing feature requests, marketing or sales activities. In contrast to the similar framework - RICE, you don’t need to have access to the product usage or customer behavior data.
When using this framework you have three metrics to assess for each issue - Impact, Confidence, and Ease. The process of prioritization is fast given the lower number of factors you need to assess with your team and they’re great discussion points and help create alignment.
When assigning Impact we are asking “How much does this contribute to the goal?” The goal, in this case, is anything you’re trying to achieve for example increasing customer retention, getting more customers, increasing the authority of your website, and so on.
To assign Confidence, think about “How confident are you that this will work?”.
When answering this question, think about previous similar tasks, and how impactful they were but also see what others tried and worked.
The last metric to assign is Ease, when assigning this one, ask this question: “How hard is this to implement?”.
In software development, it’s often easy to misinterpret this and think only about the development effort. But coding is not the only thing you do to deliver features. Make sure you think about the task as a whole, and how difficult it is for all parties involved.
The ICE score
The final ICE priority score is calculated by multiplying Impact, Confidence and Ease, and the higher the ICE score higher in priority of 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 ICE 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 ICE template you can prioritize your backlog in Foxly which is accessible from your Jira project menu. Once you assign 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.
You can also visualize priorities on the Priority matrix. Use Impact on Horizontal and Ease on vertical axes to get a good understanding of what are the quick wins or the ones that don’t bring that much value and are very difficult to do.
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 and easy to use and helps keep everyone in your team and stakeholders up to date with the latest priorities.
If you feel that the ICE prioritization technique might not be the right one for you and your team, have a look at other prioritization methods like RICE, WSJF, Value vs. Effort, or Quick wins method.
👉 TRY Foxly 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 _Appfire_