PIE Framework In A Nutshell

The PIE framework is an idea prioritization tool used in A/B testing. The PIE framework was created by WiderFunnel founder Chris Goward to help businesses identify which idea they should test first. The framework is one of several prioritization frameworks, but it is most associated with A/B testing to monitor conversion rates on websites.

Understanding the PIE framework

The business must understand where to focus its time and effort because it cannot test every idea at the same time. In other words, the PIE framework helps key decision-makers determine which website features should be tested now and which can be tested at a later juncture. 

Without a proper prioritization framework in place, businesses become overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices and suffer from analysis paralysis. What’s more, they may end up focusing their efforts in the wrong areas which leads to significant opportunity costs.

The three components of the PIE framework

The PIE framework considers three factors that make up the PIE acronym: potential, importance, and ease.

When moving through the framework, the business can score each factor in a matrix according to how significant the impact of a proposed change may be. A scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 is commonly used.

Let’s now take a look at each of three factors:

  1. P is for Potential – how much improvement can be made on a page as a result of a specific idea? Here, the worst-performing pages should be given a higher score since they have the most room for improvement. Consider customer data, web analytics data, and heuristic analysis of user scenarios.
  2. I is for Importance – how important is the page? Does it receive a high volume of traffic? Will the change impact a visitor’s ability to complete a transaction? Note that some of the worst-performing pages identified in the previous section may be a low priority because they receive comparatively little traffic, so score accordingly. Web analytics can help identify important pages such as landing pages with high bounce rates. It’s also helpful to consider the financial cost of bringing visitors to a page. Indeed, pages with high-cost traffic sources are more important because conversion improvements have the potential to deliver a better return on investment.
  3. E is for Ease – how complex is the task, project, or idea? In other words, how easily will it be completed and how long will it take? Barriers to implementation include technical, organizational, or even political issues. Tasks deemed as easier to implement should be given a higher score.

To determine which tasks should be prioritized, add the scores for each factor and divide by three to get the PIE value. For example, a task with a score of 7 for potential, 8 for importance, and 5 for ease receives a PIE value of 6.67.

Key takeaways:

  • The PIE framework is an idea prioritization tool used in A/B website or page testing.
  • The PIE framework helps businesses assign resources to initiatives with the most potential to positively impact their bottom line.
  • The PIE framework is an acronym of three factors: potential, importance, and ease. Decision-makers must assign weighted scores to each factor and then sum each score to determine task priority.

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Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"