MoSCoW Prioritization

Company GitScrum

Description 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.

Priority Name Priority Description
Must Have These provide the Minimum Usable SubseT (MUST) of requirements which the project guarantees to deliver.
Should Have One way of differentiating a Should Have requirement from a Could Have is by reviewing the degree of pain caused by the requirement not being met, measured in terms of business value or numbers of people affected.
Could Have These are the requirements that provide the main pool of contingency, since they would only be delivered in their entirety in a best case scenario.
Won’t Have this time These are requirements which the project team has agreed will not be delivered (as part of this timeframe). They are recorded in the Prioritised Requirements List where they help clarify the scope of the project.
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