RICE Scoring Method


citizen participation, community groups, dialogue, planning, co-operative, committee, decision making, ideas ranking,

RICE (Reach – Impact – Confidence – Effort) is a framework for estimating the value of ideas to prioritize actions.

You have your one true metric or goal, then multiple ideas you think could help you achieve it. Frameworks like the RICE method can help you quantify those big ideas using calculations that give you a way to push back on stakeholder gut feelings in a more reasonable and structured way.

Find a guide for using ‘RICE’ here (opens off-site)

Target Audience: Sustainability Committee Members, community groups.

The RICE Method, which stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort, is a project prioritization framework used to evaluate and rank various initiatives or projects based on their potential impact, the number of people they can reach, the likelihood of success, and the resources required to execute them. It was developed by the United Nations Development Programme in the early 2000s to help organizations make more informed decisions about how to allocate limited resources.

The RICE Method was developed by Sean McBride at Intercom as a tool for helping organizations prioritize and select the most effective projects for funding. It was designed to be a simple and easy-to-use tool that could be applied to a wide range of projects, regardless of their size or complexity.

The RICE Method has since been widely adopted by organizations around the world. It is a particularly valuable tool for organizations that are working on multiple projects with limited resources, as it helps them to focus their efforts on the projects that are most likely to have a significant impact.

The RICE Method is a simple five-step process that can be used to evaluate and rank any project:

Step 1: Determine Reach

Reach is the number of people who will be affected by the project. This includes both direct and indirect beneficiaries. For example, a project that aims to install solar panels in a community will directly benefit the people who live in that community, but it may also indirectly benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To calculate the reach of a project, you need to identify the target audience and estimate the number of people in that audience. You should also consider the multiplier effect of the project, which is the number of people who will be indirectly affected by the project.

Step 2: Assess Impact

Impact is the positive change that the project will bring about. This includes both quantifiable and qualitative outcomes. For example, a project that aims to reduce poverty may quantify its impact by measuring the change in household income, but it may also qualitatively assess its impact by measuring the change in people’s quality of life.

To assess the impact of a project, you need to identify the specific goals of the project and measure the extent to which the project achieves those goals. You should also consider the sustainability of the project, which is the likelihood that its positive effects will continue long-term.

Step 3: Estimate Confidence

Confidence is the likelihood that the project will be successful. This includes both objective and subjective factors. For example, a project that has a strong track record of success in similar settings may be considered to have a high degree of confidence, while a project that is being implemented for the first time may be considered to have a lower degree of confidence.

To estimate the confidence of a project, you need to consider the experience and expertise of the project team, the availability of resources, and the level of support from stakeholders. You should also consider the risks associated with the project and the likelihood that those risks will be mitigated.

Step 4: Gauge Effort

Effort is the amount of resources required to execute the project. This includes both financial and human resources. For example, a project that requires a large investment in infrastructure and personnel will have a higher degree of effort than a project that can be implemented with limited resources.

To gauge the effort of a project, you need to identify all of the resources that will be required to implement the project, such as personnel, equipment, and funding. You should also consider the complexity of the project and the potential for delays or setbacks.

Step 5 Combining the Factors

Once you have assessed the reach, impact, confidence, and effort of each project, you can combine these factors to create a single score for each project. The RICE score is calculated by multiplying the reach, impact, and confidence scores together and then dividing by the effort score.

Projects with higher RICE scores are considered to be more valuable, as they have the potential to have a greater impact on a larger number of people with a higher degree of certainty. So you need to compare across projects and not just produce a RICE score for one project.

Possible problems with RICE (and how to avoid them)

  • Taking it too seriously: RICE scores are based on “guesstimates”, or subjective assessments.
  • Being inflexible: This method aims to facilitate and accelerate decision making process, but sometimes you’ll need to make decisions based on other factors that are not quantifiable
  • Over-complicating the process: No prioritization technique is perfect. Estimates are always a bit wrong, so leave some margin for error.

More Resources

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.