“Life is as simple as these three questions: What do I want? Why do I want it? And, how will I achieve it?”―
So you had a great brain-storming session!
The team pulled together and came up with some great ideas and potential actionable items.
Do you have enough resources that you can fund all the ideas? Do you have enough time that you can focus on all at the same time?
Do you feel that all the ideas can be ranked at equal or few of them would be more impactful as compared to others?
Going further deep down you may realize that few might need less resources but can bring much higher returns while others might consume more time and energy but chances of success may be lower !
The risk-reward ratio for each of the ideas may be different!
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
And it not only happens at a manager/leader level but it also keeps happening in every individual’s life everyday – we’ve too many things to do and have too little time to focus on everything.
People at every level face this problem all the time?
There is a similar phenomenon that’s known as Overchoice?
Overchoice or choice overload is a cognitive impairment in which people have a difficult time making a decision when faced with many options.
The phenomenon of over choice occurs when many equivalent choices are available.
Making a decision becomes overwhelming due to the many potential outcomes and risks that may result from making the wrong choice.
And no organization or individual has endless resources or endless time to simultaneously focus on all the options – prioritization becomes important.
But to make a choice from many approximately equally good options is mentally draining because each option must be weighed against alternatives to select the best one.
But sometimes we’re not left with no choice , we have to zero down one or limited number of options from many.
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
Here’s a very simple model that can help you to achieve this goal, a model that is very simple to come out of complex choices.
ICE Scoring Model & How To Use It ?
Popularized by Sean Ellis, this model helps you to prioritize options, features, initiatives or action items.
There are 3 variables to the ICE framework:
In this framework, each of the options is weighed on these 3 parameters.
You write down all the options and try to score each of these terms for every option on a scale of 1-10, with ten being the highest.
How impactful it would be for your business or your own personal growth -likely potential gain from the option if it succeeds.
What is the confidence level of yours or yours team whether this would succeed or not
The degree of complexity involved!
Whether you or your team/organization has enough resources, funds, time and talent to undertake this task to make it successful?
Or if it is going to very highly impactful, are you ready to hire talent, borrow money or ready to shed some other project to devote time to this option?
Once you’ve ranked all the available options/choices/projects on ICE Framework , you can easily make a winning choice based on final scoring of each option/action-item.
And if you wish you can test the final winning option in context of Cobra Effect to make it more formidable.
Who Can Use It?
ICE Scoring is best used for relative prioritization-if you are considering a few contenders (ideas/projects/action-items/features), it’s a great way to pick a winner.
With the help of this model,leaders can prioritize the important projects in their organizations, managers can decide the funding amount (funding = time/resources/money) for various projects and which of the projects need to be dropped, product-managers can decide which features should be added and brand-managers can decide on the key-marketing campaigns.
It can also help you on individual level – you can choose the most critical items which need your time, where you need to spend money and especially what to ignore.
Precautions & A Likely Pitfall:
A major pitfall of ICE Scoring is that very few people in a team will have enough information to accurately predict all 3 elements of the equation.
Another pitfall is that people who have suggested a particular option may rate it higher on I & C parameters because desires dictate priorities, priorities shape the choices, and choices determine the actions.
You would come across few more critical issues once you start working with this model but if you’re serious , you would become master of it after sometime.