ICE
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ICE

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ICE (Impact-Confidence-Ease) is a prioritization method used to aid decision-making. The ICE framework was created by Sean Ellis used for prioritizing growth experiments. It is commonly used in product management for feature prioritization, but it can be applied to prioritize ideas or pathways in any aspect of your life.

🔖 Table of contents

💡 About ICE

The goal of ICE is to prevent analysis paralysis and help you identify priorities from a pool of individual ideas, product features, or pathways. Evaluate each idea by giving a score between 1-10 to each of its 3 dimensions:

  1. Impact is the positive effect of an idea. How much will your idea positively effect the key metric you’re trying to improve?
  2. Confidence measures how sure you are about the success of an idea if you decide to implement it.
  3. Ease is an estimation of how much effort and resources are required to implement this idea. More ease means less work.

You can calculate an ICE score for each idea with simple multiplication

✂️ How to use it?

1. Gather ideas

First, gather all ideas / product features you want to prioritize.

Notionery tip: You can use the Kanban board below to structure your ideas.

  • Backlog column contains ideas to be evaluated.
  • De-prioritized column contains ideas you have de-prioritized in your previous ICE assessments - you might want to come back to these later.
  • Prioritized column contains high-priority ideas, as determined by ICE assessment.
  • Done is for ideas you have executed.

Ideas board

Backlog
De-prioritized
Prioritized
Done

2. Evaluate each idea on 3 dimensions

Take each idea, and assign a numerical score 1-10 (lowest-highest) to its impact, ease of implementation and confidence of your assessment. You can choose what 1–10 means, as long the rating stays consistent. Guiding questions to determine the score:

  • Impact: How impactful it will be? What will it give to our users and to their goals and jobs?
  • Confidence: How sure am I that the feature will get successfully completed and lead to the improvement I described in Impact?
  • Ease: How easily will it be to develop, test and launch this feature?

Idea evaluation

Idea / FeatureImpact scoreConfidence scoreEase scoreICE score
Idea A
4
9
7
252
Idea B
7
8
2
112
0

3. Sort ideas

Sort your ideas / features by the score, get some winners from the top with the highest score and move them to execution / development! Don't forget to update your funnel from step #1 to reflect the prioritization.

Notionery tip: It might be hard to determine how many things to take from the top ranking results. We usually try to utilize the 80/20 rule and aim for the top 20% tasks, which usually means just 1 or 2 of the most important things to do.

🌊 Example

👉

If you want to use ICE for your ideas, the easiest way to get started is to duplicate the whole page and delete everything except the Example section.

1. Gather ideas

Backlog
Basic image editing
Apply image filters
Find my friends
See the "Following" stream
Search for a user
Search for a hashtag
De-prioritized
Prioritized
Done

2. Evaluate ideas

Idea / FeatureImpact scoreConfidence scoreEase scoreICE score
Find my friends
9
10
4
360
See the "Following" stream
8
7
6
336
Search for a user
7
6
8
336
Basic image editing
7
9
5
315
Apply image filters
5
6
4
120
Search for a hashtag
5
8
3
120

3. Sort ideas

Backlog
De-prioritized
Apply image filters
Search for a hashtag
Basic image editing
Prioritized
Find my friends
Search for a user
Done
See the "Following" stream

📚 Additional reading resources