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Ep.33 The MoSCoW prioritisation technique

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As part of my series on Prioritisation methods and following my posts on Screening Checklist, Visual Ranking and Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF), today let me cover MoSCoW.

The acronym, MoSCoW, stands for 4 different categories of initiatives:

1) Must Haves: requirements which will definitely be included to be delivered; cannot do without them, non-negotiable.

2) Should Haves: requirements which should be included if at all possible. If the project has capacity, and it won’t jeopardise any of the “Must” requirements, then these requirements should be included. Important, but not vital, they add significant value.

3) Could Haves: Nice to have initiatives, that only have a small impact if left out. Could be included if it doesn’t have any impact on any of the ‘Should’ or ‘Must’ requirements.

4) Will Not Haves: are NOT a priority for this timeframe, but possibly in the future.

MoSCow allows not only for 3 clear priority levels but also covers the requirements that will end up not being included in the currently delivery or project at all.

It allows people to explicitly agree on the different priorities including the requirements, which will be excluded or referred to a future release.

Remember that the prioritisation tools main purpose is to drive a conversation with stakeholders!

First published here.


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