Ice, Ice Baby: Chill Out and Prioritise with the ICE Technique
Yesterday, i talked about the RICE technique for prioritisation. Today, i want to introduce ICE technique, another prioritisation framework used to evaluate and prioritise tasks or projects based on three factors: Impact, Confidence, and Ease. Tomorrow, i’ll compare them both.
- Impact refers to the potential positive outcome or benefit of completing a particular task or project, considering the potential impact of the task or project on the overall goals or objectives of the organisation or project. For example, is this going to reduce costs? Increase customer loyalty or satisfaction? Reduce developer frustration?
- Confidence refers to the level of certainty or confidence that the task or project will be successful – factors such as available resources, expertise, and potential roadblocks or obstacles. Are we likely to be able to deliver?
- Ease refers to the level of difficulty or complexity of completing the task or project, taking account of things like the level of effort required, the time needed, the necessary skills needed, or difficulty obtaining or using resources. Perhaps the project isn’t that hard – but we simply don’t have a developer with the right skills to implement it, or perhaps we can’t support it/keep it running over time.
To use the ICE technique, each item is assigned a score out of 10 for each factor, and the scores are then multiplied together to calculate a final score for each task or project. The higher the final score, the higher we should prioritise completing that item.
This creates a simple yet effective framework which allows us to compare the total potential impact, feasibility, and difficulty. For example, you might use this to prioritise potential new product ideas for a tech startup:
|1||A new mobile app that helps people track their daily water intake and reminds them to stay hydrated throughout the day||8 – there is a growing awareness of the importance of staying hydrated||7 – the team has some experience building mobile apps but this one would require some new features||8 – the basic features can be implemented quickly|
|2||A new software tool that automates social media marketing for small businesses, allowing them to create, schedule and publish posts on multiple platforms with ease||9 – social media marketing is critical for small businesses but can be time-consuming||9 – the team has expertise in social media marketing and has built similar tools in the past||6 – integrating with multiple social media platforms and providing advanced features will take time and resources|
|3||A new AI-powered chatbot that can assist customers with basic support queries, reducing the load on the support team||7 – many companies are looking for ways to reduce support costs and improve customer satisfaction||8 – the team has some experience with chatbot development and has access to AI libraries||7 – developing the chatbot and integrating it with the company’s support systems will require some time and effort)|
Using the ICE technique, we would multiply the scores for each idea to get a final score:
Idea 1: 8 x 7 x 8 = 448 Idea 2: 9 x 9 x 6 = 486 Idea 3: 7 x 8 x 7 = 392
Based on these scores, we would prioritise the ideas in the following order:
- Idea 2 – social media marketing (486)
- Idea 1 – app to track daily water intake (448)
- Idea 3 – customer support chatbot (392)
So – our potential startup should probably focus on an app to help small businesses with their social media, then track water intake, and finally a chatbot. This doesn’t take account of the fact that there are already 10,000,000 apps for tracking water intake and i’m not sure how to make money on them, or that social media marketing is a field littered with failed apps.