Prioritization and Decision-Making Tools: The Rice Scoring Model

As customer experience professionals, the work you do to identify improvement opportunities and other initiatives to design and deliver a better experience requires you to build the business case and help your executives prioritize those initiatives – because there are typically many improvements that need to be made.

I’ve previously written about prioritization methods and criteria:


In today’s post, I’m going to add another tool for consideration the RICE Scoring Model, or RICE Score. It was developed by Intercom for product managers to prioritize the plethora of projects and ideas on the table. As I read more about it and the four factors that go into it, I noticed that it aligned well with the factors I laid out in the earlier post and advocate for with my clients regarding customer experience improvements:

  • cost to fix
  • time to fix
  • effort to fix
  • resources required to fix
  • impact on the business
  • impact on the customer, as well as
    • type of customers impacted
    • volume of customers impacted


Any time you can make better-informed, data-driven decisions, you’re better off. RICE offers a simple way to help you do just that.


RICE takes four factors – Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort – and translates them into a score to help with prioritization. The score takes the place of trying to plot the ideas onto a quad chart based on these factors, although I see no reason to stop doing that. Some folks are visual learners.

Reach is the number of people it will impact in a given time period, e.g., customers per year. Impact is just that, how much it will impact each person, e.g., increase in satisfaction, increased adoption, and is represented by a number that falls into the following categories, per Intercom: Massive (3x), High (2x), Medium (1x), Low (.5x), Minimal (.25x). Confidence is confidence in your data, your numbers, and is reported as a percentage that also falls into High (100%), M (80%), or L (50%) classifications. And Effort is time required (person months) from all involved in the initiative.


To calculate the score, you’ll multiply Reach x Impact x Confidence and then divide that by Effort.

Simple, but effective. It provides a clear path to prioritization. Let me know if you’ve used this approach before and how it worked for you.

Good things happen when you set your priorities straight. ~ Scott Caan

Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. In 2019, She published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Right now, she’s busy on the manuscript for her second book, which will be available in early 2022! Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

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