MoSCoW is a prioritization technique for helping to understand and manage priorities.
The use of MoSCoW works particularly well on projects. It also overcomes the problems associated with simpler prioritization approaches which are based on relative priorities:
- The use of a simple high, medium or low classification is weaker because definitions of these priorities are missing or need to be defined. Nor does this categorization provide the business with a clear promise of what to expect. A categorization with a single middle option, such as medium, also allows for indecision
- The use of a simple sequential 1,2,3,4… priority is weaker because it deals less effectively with items of similar importance. There may be prolonged and heated discussions over whether an item should be one place higher or lower
The specific use of Must Have, Should Have, Could Have or Won’t Have this time provides a clear indication of that item and the expectations for its completion.