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RICE Framework for Prioritization [+Template]
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How to Use a RICE Framework for Prioritization [+Template]

Use our free RICE framework prioritization template.
This template was built with Coda, the all-in-one platform that blends the flexibility of docs, structure of spreadsheets, power of applications, and intelligence of AI. Play with the template below or copy it to save your edits.
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Project Name
Owner
Impact
Confidence (%)
Effort (wks)
RICE Score
1
Send PVT v1 for UL drop test
Buck Dubois
Small
000
50
8
13
2
Review proto build
Polly Rose
Medium
000
50
10
25
3
Refine proto build
Lola Tseudonym
Large
000
100
12
33
4
Negotiate prices for EVT/DVT production
James Booth
Large
000
100
8
50
5
Find EVT factory
Felix Marlin
Small
000
50
6
21
6
Update DVT issues list, share with factory
Buck Dubois
Very Large
000
25
9
67
7
Factory visit for DVT, documentation
Alan Chowansky
Large
000
25
11
36
8
Draft interaction design sketch
Maria Marquis
Small
000
75
9
13
9
Calibration - 1st round
Joel Davis
Medium
000
100
7
71
There are no rows in this table
Business owners, product managers, and other stakeholders rely on prioritization frameworks to plan for the work necessary to reach their goals. Many use the RICE framework to prioritize the most impactful work first and ensure they’re spending resources wisely.

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What is the RICE framework?

The RICE framework is a project management framework that prioritizes projects based on specific criteria. For the RICE framework, the criteria that make up the acronym are:
Reach
Impact
Confidence
Effort
The RICE prioritization method accounts for audience size, how much it will move the business, how certain the team feels they can accomplish the work, and the amount of work that is required to make it happen.

RICE framework formula

Each of these factors is calculated independent of one another and then dropped into the RICE formula:
(R x I x C) / E
When each project is assigned a RICE score, it’s easy to use that score to determine which projects to prioritize first.

RICE prioritization score calculation method

The RICE prioritization framework eliminates the risk of putting effort into projects that won’t move the needle. Prioritization using the RICE method ensures that the team is not focused on the wrong things.

How to calculate reach

Reach is the measure of the audience. To figure out reach, first predict how many people will be impacted by the project in a given period of time.
Reach is measured based on the team’s goals. If the goal is to acquire more customers, for example, then the metric to use is new customers. If within one month of the launch of the project, for example, 200 new customers are acquired, then the reach is 200.

How to calculate impact

Once reach is established, determine the impact the project will have. Impact is somewhat less specific than reach and is assessed on a scale like Small, Medium, Large, Very Large, and assign a numerical value to each. For this example, small is 0.5, medium is 1.0, large is 2.0, and very large is 4.
Using the example from above, acquiring 200 new customers in a month will have a Very Large impact (or 4) on the business.

How to calculate confidence

A confidence score ensures that you’re using realistic estimates. Confidence is measured as a percentage, similar to the way that impact is measured. If you’re Very confident (High confidence) about something, you’d give it a rating of 100%. If you’re Confident about it, you assign it 75%. If you’re Not confident (Low confidence), you’d give it a rating of 50% or less.
For example, if you know that you’ll acquire 200 new customers from your project because you have the data to back it up, you’d use the Very confident ranking and work with a high confidence score of 100% for the rest of your calculations.

How to calculate effort

The effort score is measured as the estimated amount of work one team member can do in a specific time period, usually one month (reported as person-months). When calculating effort, be sure to factor in the effort of each person involved in the process.
For our example project, determine the various stages of the project and the number of people needed to do the work during that time. For this example, let’s assume two weeks of planning (two weeks), two weeks of coding for three engineers (six weeks), and one week of design for two designers (two weeks). When you add that up, you get 8 weeks, or 2 person-months.

How to calculate your final RICE score

To calculate the RICE score, use the RICE framework formula:
(R x I x C) / E.
In this example, we’d calculate (200 x 4 x 100%) / 2, which works out to a RICE score of 400.
Run through this process for each project on your list and then compare their RICE scores to determine which project you should take on next.

5 Tips for better prioritization with the RICE framework

The RICE prioritization process ensures that you select project ideas based on the impact they will have on your business.

1. Align priorities with your goals

It’s hard to prioritize anything if you don’t know what’s important to the business. Sit down regularly to ensure that current priorities align with business outcomes. Sometimes it’s a matter of adjusting prioritization between high-impact projects and low-impact projects to move in the right direction.

2. Unify all score scales

Be sure that you’re using the same scoring scale for everything. If you assign different values to your Impact scale each time you calculate the RICE score, you’re effectively comparing apples to oranges.

3. Compare individual scores

Sometimes projects have similar RICE scores. In this case, consider the individual pieces of the RICE framework formula. For example, if two projects are closely scored but one has a noticeably better impact score that also aligns better with your business goals, that’s the best decision.

4. Visualize project influence with a RICE matrix

Drop everything into a RICE matrix (a grid that helps you rank priorities) to help visualize the relationships between the different factors. can be helpful when you’re trying to compare individual scores because you can see everything at a glance, rather than having to examine each individual score.

5. Re-evaluate priorities

Regularly re-evaluate your priorities to make sure that you’re prioritizing based on current business goals. Goals can shift over time, making this a good exercise to do regularly, perhaps quarterly or bi-annually.

👉 Get started with this RICE framework template.
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Click Copy this template to start using this free RICE framework template for your prioritizing your projects.

Using Coda's RICE framework template for prioritization

Step 1: Add projects

On the page, you’ll see the main table with a list of sample projects. You can clear the sample data by clicking Clear sample projects and start adding the name of your team’s projects. For each project, add an Owner so people know who owns the project.

Step 2: Fill out the RICE columns

Each letter in the RICE acronym has its own column in the table. Rate each project across each letter of the RICE acronym. For the Impact column, you’ll see the corresponding values for each impact level in the page. Feel free to adjust these values based on your team’s preferences. While the Effort column is supposed to be in “person-months,” feel free to enter in the estimated number of weeks the project will take. The final RICE score takes into account each column.

Step 3: View and sort your projects by RICE score

Now that you have applied the RICE framework to your projects, you can view your list in different ways. First, you can check off the Sort by RICE score checkbox at the top of the page to quickly sort your list of projects by the RICE Score column. This let’s you see which project rises to the top and should be the focus for your project team. The view of your projects shows the exact same list of projects except it groups your projects by the Impact level.

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