The MOSCOW method is an Agile prioritization technique. It categorizes requirements or features into four categories: Must have, Should have, Could have, and Won’t have.
- Must-haves are critical for product success and must be included in the current release.
- Should-haves are important but not critical and can be included if resources permit.
- Could-haves are desirable but not essential, and
- Won’t-haves are explicitly excluded from the release.
MOSCOW helps teams prioritize effectively, focusing on critical functionality first. It guides decision-making, ensuring valuable features are delivered while managing scope. It provides clarity and aligns stakeholders on the product’s development direction.
Example of MoSCoW
Here’s an example of how the MoSCoW prioritization technique could be applied to prioritize features:
- Must have:
- User registration and login functionality
- Product catalogue and search functionality
- Shopping cart and checkout process
- Secure payment gateway integration
- Order management and tracking
- Should have:
- User profile management and customization
- Customer reviews and ratings for products
- Wishlist or save for later feature
- Responsive design for mobile devices
- Discount and promotional code functionality
- Could have:
- Social media integration for sharing products
- Advanced search and filtering options
- Personalized recommendations based on user preferences
- Multiple payment options (e.g., PayPal, credit card, etc.)
- Customer support chat or messaging feature
- Won’t have:
- Integration with third-party inventory management system (out of scope for the current project)
- Complex loyalty program and rewards system
- Integration with external shipping providers
- Advanced analytics and reporting features
The MoSCoW prioritization technique enables stakeholders and the project team to have a shared understanding of what is most important and helps in making informed decisions when allocating resources, planning iterations, or determining the scope of the project. It ensures that critical and high-value requirements are addressed first while allowing for flexibility and trade-offs in delivering less critical features.