The RICE framework is a straightforward prioritization framework designed to help product managers quantify proposed projects, features and initiatives. A series of proposals with normalized RICE scores are easy to sort, and the scores help teams make data-driven decisions about how to focus their efforts.
Reach is an estimation of the number of users this project will reach over a given timeframe.
The units associated with reach are ultimately up to you, but consistency in units will help standardize your RICE scores, ultimately making them more valuable.
Impact is an estimation of your projects overall result in achieving a goal.
This can be a quantitative goal (e.g. How many new conversions will this project result in?), or a more qualitative goal (e.g. How will this improve my brand recognition?)
It's often helpful to rely on a tiered scoring system in order to avoid over-analysis. The following table presents a good starting point.
The confidence component of the RICE score assists in controlling for intuition/anecdotal data in the analysis process.
While assessing your confidence, take into account questions like:
Your answers to these questions should help you determine how confident you are about the project's potential for success.
In the interest of avoiding over-analysis, try sticking to tiered values like the following:
The effort component represents the cost of the project.
This is typically measured in person-months, or the number of months it would take a single person to complete this project. Consider every aspect of the project (i.e. design, engineering, development, QA) to help normalize your RICE scores across projects.
(In order to follow along with this tutorial, you'll need to install Abacus into your Jira instance)
Your projects are already in Jira, so why not calculate RICE inside your Jira instance? This solution not only provides a central view into the future of your project, it also enables you to automate your Jira instance based on RICE scores.
Calculating RICE with Abacus requires 5 custom fields - one field for each of the RICE components and a fifth field for storing the result. If you need help creating these fields, consult the Atlassian documentation. As mentioned above, it's often helpful to constrain values for confidence and impact to a few tiered values. Abacus supports the use of Select List (Single Choice) custom fields, making constraining input values straightforward.
These images show the setup of the Select List (single choice) fields in our demo project.
First we're going to a new Generic Numeric Formula using the RICE formula and our custom fields.
Your formula should look similar to this...
Next we'll create an Execution Plan to define how our new formula is triggered. An Execution Plan allows you to choose which events trigger an Abacus formula to run, and which issues those formulas run against.
We want our formula to trigger any time there might be a new value in one of our R.I.C.E. fields.
The final plan should look like this...
Now that everything is set up, try creating a new issue. Fill out your R.I.C.E. fields and hit 'Create'. When you navigate to the new issue, you should see that your RICE score has been calculated into your results custom field.
The next step is using this information to prioritize your work. You can do this in multiple ways, such as JQL filters and dashboard gadgets. If you're using Jira Software, you're probably using a backlog. We're going to show you how to update your backlog to prioritize higher RICE scores. Note that you'll be unable to re-rank your Backlog after making these changes.
Update the JQL to your own equivalent of...
Now your backlog should show issues ranked by their RICE score. You're ready to start building sprints!
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