Prioritizing requirements with the MoSCoW method

MoscowHave you ever needed a way to prioritize your requirements?

One way of prioritizing your requirements could be to use the MoSCoW method, which is a simple method to apply.

Let’s have a look at the method…

As you can see, MoSCoW is spelt with a mix of lower and upper case letters. Now, this is not done so by mistake. They all have a meaning.

The M stands for MUST and indicates a requirement that must be achieved to be considered a success.

The S stands for SHOULD and indicates a high-priority requirement that should be achieved if it is possible. These requirements are considered as important requirements but not as important as the must requirements.

The C stands for COULD and indicates a requirement which is considered desirable but not necessary.

The W can stand for two things. Sometimes stands for WON’T and sometimes it stands for WOULD (or even WOULD LIKE). When it means won’t then it indicates requirement that the requirement has been agreed with the stakeholders to not be implemented in a given release, but may be considered for the future. When it means would that it indicates that the requirement is a nice to have feature that might be included in the delivery based upon if there is time or not to include it. Regardless of which, these requirements has the lowest level of priority.

Finaly, the lower case o’s. The lower case indicates that they don’t stand for anything and they are simply added to create a pronounceable word.

So what you think? Are you using the MoSCoW method? Maybe you are using a different method? Leave a comment and let us know!