ICE framework

The ICE prioritization framework is an engineer’s way of approaching growth strategy.

If you’ve been in the optimization game for longer than a minute, you’ve probably heard of this + a few other prioritization frameworks.

Now, to model and predict complex situations, anticipate and account for potential future scenarios is a uniquely human ability.

In fact, it’s key to our ability to survive and thrive as a species.

What the ICE prioritization framework does specifically, is breaking a real-world problem into smaller parts, assign values to each part, and run the calculation to predict the potential outcome.

Let’s take a closer look.

Breaking down the ICE Prioritization Framework

Here are the basic components:

  • Impact – What will the impact be if this works?
  • Confidence – How confident am I that this will work?
  • Ease – What is the ease of implementation?
ICE Prioritization Framework
Screenshot of worksheet taken from the Mindfold content library

Bus useful frameworks doesn’t come without problems.

Now that we got the breakdown sorted, let’s talk about some of the weak points about the ICE prioritization framework.

This quote from Mike Tyson is very fitting:

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” — Mike Tyson

Although the intention when you plan something is to be as objective as possible and lean on your experience, it’s very hard to get a consistent and objective rating using this framework.

If you have an idea that you already decided you really want to pursue, it creates a situation where it gets easy to skew these numbers, too.

Even in a perfect situation where none of this happens, a lot of the scoring here is about gut feeling.

Again, a useful framework, but it has its problems.

This begs the question: If each variable (impact, confidence, and ease) leaves way too much open to interpretation – how do you objectively determine the potential of a test idea?

If we’d know in advance how much potential an idea has, we wouldn’t need prioritization models.

In an ideal world, frameworks would remove subjectivity.

In addition, it’s hard to objectively place the importance of Ease, as well as Importance.


It’s up to you what prioritization framework to choose. Use the simple prioritization matrix to decide each feature’s final priority or apply more interesting scoring models.

No need to discover continents!

Just choose an appropriate project management tool with an available prioritization framework and get your advanced results.

Not all marketing experiments succeed, and every great campaign is built on the back of a lot of failed experiments.

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