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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.

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