Clarify priorities with MoSCoW (Must, Should, Could and Won’t)

Prioritization Technique – MoSCoW (Must, Should, Could and Won’t)

The MoSCoW technique is a good focus method that helps you choose when you have too many options.

MoSCoW is an easy-to-memorize acronym that provides a straightforward way of prioritizing items.  Dai Clegg of Oracle UK Consulting first described MoSCoW in CASE Method Fast-Track: A RAD Approach. Clegg then donated the Intellectual Property Rights to the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) Consortium.

How Now, MoSCoW?

By following MoSCoW, we can classify each option in a list of possibilities with rating criteria:

M – MUST have this
S – SHOULD have this if at all possible
C – COULD have this if it does not affect anything else
W – WON’T have this time but WOULD like in the future

The o’s in MoSCoW are added just to make the word pronounceable, and are often written in lower case.

MoSCoW empowers you and your customer to participate actively in the decision process regarding the best order of doing things (and which ones are really important).

So, now…how will you MoSCoW?