How ICE Score Method Helps to Choose Better Product Features
In case you have several important and urgent features to implement, which one would you choose? This relevant question concerning prioritization is at the heart of product management.
The penalty for choosing the wrong option can be rather high.
Here we’d like to describe one more way to find winning ideas and prioritize easy. It’s all about ICE score method.
What is ICE Score?
ICE score prioritization method was invented by Sean Ellis who is famous for helping grow companies and for coining the term Growth Hacking.
Initially, ICE scores were intended to prioritize growth experiments. But now the ICE model is used for features prioritization as well.
ICE Scoring: How does it work?
Calculate the score per idea, according to the formula:
- Impact demonstrates how much your idea will positively affect the key metric you’re trying to improve.
- Confidence shows how sure you are about Impact. It is also about ease of implementation in some way.
- Ease is about the easiness of implementation. It is an estimation of how much effort and resources are required to implement this idea.
These values are rated on a relative scale of 1–10 so not to over-weigh any of them.
You can choose what 1–10 means, as long the rating stays consistent.
As an example, let’s apply it to feature “Widgets on Dashboard”:
- Impact: How impactful it will be? What will it give to our users and to their goals and jobs?
- Confidence: How can I be sure that this feature will lead to such an improvement I described in Impact?
- Ease: How easily will it be to develop, test and launch this feature?
*the picture from Hackernoon
What is the goal of the ICE scoring?
Of course, the ICE score method is not a perfect system for prioritizing individual features and ideas. Let’s say this is a method of relative prioritization.
The key goal of ICE is to prevent you from being bogged down in trying to fine-tune the score too much. However, according to many experts, the method is good enough to get the job done.
This method for prioritizing is sometimes being criticized for its subjectiveness:
- the same feature can be scored differently by the same person at the different time. It may affect the final prioritization list.
- if different people score a feature to test – they will all score it differently.
- team members who wanted their features prioritized could simply manipulate scores to get features approved
That’s why it’s crucial to clearly understand the purpose of the ICE score and do not neglect the role of the growth process.
How to use ICE prioritization in Hygger?
There is a good news! You can find the ICE prioritization in Hygger.io.
First, you collect all the ideas and product features on a Kanban-alike board. With Hygger, you can structure them using horizontal Swimlanes and Labels. You can also adjust the process of working with features using Columns. For example, you can create the following workflow:
- Backlog – you collect all ideas and features in this column
- Next Up – here you move the features you want to work on
- Specification – you gather requirements and write a specification for features
- Development – features are under development and you can track their status here
- Done – features were successfully delivered to your customers.
The platform offers to choose ICE score model among the scoring types.
How to use it?
So at first you should evaluate every feature with Impact, Confidence, and Ease and get the score.
You can also view all features in the table:
So you sort features by the score, get some winners from the top and send them to Development with Push option.
Other ways to prioritize in Hygger
What are the other options you can choose for prioritization in Hygger?
Value and Effort Prioritization
This is a simple 2×2 matrix with two axes – Сomplexity and Value:
- Value is what contribution does the feature give to the product.
- Complexity is the effort required to implement a feature.
In Hygger, you can view evaluated features on a Priority Chart:
- First, you should develop Quick Wins, features that give a lot of value but which can be very quickly realized.
- Next – Big Bets. These are features that can bring great value, but they are difficult to implement.
- Then – Maybes – tasks and features that do not bring much value, but are easily implemented. They can be fully realized later.
- And, finally, Time Sinks. These features do not need priority and we can skip them.
This type of prioritization is very lightweight, so you can use it on an everyday basis.
If you want to get more about useful classic and innovative prioritization methods, learn Hygger University articles.
Did you try the ICE prioritization method? Was it helpful? Feel free to share your experience!