the RICE method for prioritizing your Scrum Backlog

In Scrum, prioritizing the Backlog is an essential step that guides the order in which tasks and User Stories are executed. This prioritization makes it easier to select the tasks that offer the most value to the product and its stakeholders. 

Among the various prioritization techniques available, the RICE(Reach, Impact, Confidence, Effort) method stands out as a particularly effective tool.

image with the formula of the RICE framework method for prioritizing Agile Scrum Backlogs

Prioritizing the Product Backlog is a decisive step in managing a Scrum project. It guides the team in choosing which tasks to perform first, based on their potential value. This prioritization enables resources to be allocated efficiently, promotes greater stakeholder satisfaction and contributes to the rapid achievement of project objectives.

The RICE method: An effective prioritization technique

The RICE method offers a structured approach to evaluating and comparing backlog tasks. It takes into account four key criteria: Reach, Impact, Confidence and Effort.


Reach represents the number of users or stakeholders who will be affected by the task to be prioritized.


Impact assesses the potential effect of a task on these users or stakeholders. It measures the extent to which a task can improve the experience for each person involved.


Confidence measures your certainty regarding Reach and Impact estimates. Solid, accurate data will increase your level of confidence.


Effort estimates the total work required to complete a task. It is usually measured in days or Story Points.

RICE score calculation

Once each Backlog task has been evaluated according to these criteria, you can calculate the RICE score using the following formula:

					Score RICE = (Reach * Impact * Confidence) / Effort

This RICE score provides a numerical figure that can be used to compare Backlog tasks and determine their order of priority. So the higher the RICE score, the higher the priority of the backlog item.

While this score isn’t perfect, it does give a quantitative perspective which, combined with your expertise and knowledge of your project’s context, makes decision-making much easier.

image containing the formula for calculating the Backlog prioritization RICE score


Thanks to the RICE method, Scrum teams can refine their decision-making process, strengthen communication and transparency around priorities, and ultimately maximize the value delivered to their users. Bear in mind that the RICE method is a tool, not an absolute rule. It should be used to complement your experience and understanding of the project.

Discover other agile prioritization methods

We’ve made available other articles about effective backlog prioritization methods. Below is a non-exhaustive list of these alternative prioritization techniques:

Further information

I’d recommend reading Agile Project Management with Scrum ” by Alex Campbell. It’s a practical guide to improving your team’s productivity. This book contains useful tips for adapting Scrum to your team. Improve your team’s performance with this book on agile project management :

Cette publication est également disponible en : French

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Picture of Ahmed BEN SALEM


Strongly involved in Agile methodologies, I have held the roles of Scrum Master, Product Owner and Release Train Engineer for SAFe, Scrum and DevOps projects. My approach focuses on people and stakeholder collaboration, creating environments conducive to innovation and performance.

Since 2016, I have successfully led several Agile software development projects for companies of all sizes, including Odigo, Orange and PSA. My solid experience in Agile methodologies, in particular Scrum and SAFe, has enabled me to work with multicultural teams from countries such as the USA, India, Vietnam and Morocco.

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