All roads lead to MoSCoW!

Every project needs something to help guide it through to success. One such tool is MoSCoW prioritisation or analysis. This is used to make sure that all project stakeholders know what work needs to be completed as a priority and how that work will help return on investment, improve operational costs, increase productivity or impact customer satisfaction.

The term MoSCoW itself is an acronym derived from the first letter of each of four prioritisation categories: M – Must have, S – Should have, C – Could have, W – Won’t have. Some users of this methodology sometimes use “W” to mean wish.

So, let’s take a look at each of these stages:

  • M – Must have: this includes all the requirements that are needed for the project to be successful. These are mandatory and if missed out would lead to the project failing.
  • S – Should have: these are elements of the project that are important for a successful project but not essential to its success.
  • C – Could have: these are items that would be nice to have but would have little impact if not included but still worthy of consideration.
  • W – Won’t have: this final criteria covers anything that will have no impact on the project if missed out entirely. This helps focus on the other three aspects of this methodology.

Going through this, particularly with more complex projects, will help all of those involved get clarity on what is needed and where the focus should be to make that project successful.

Russell Parker
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Russell Parker

Since 2006, Russell has delivered training in service and project management. He has helped dozens of managers to acquire their qualifications. He also has helped them to be successful in frameworks such as PRINCE2, Agile, ITIL. Russell has run numerous projects in the public and private sectors. He then turned his hand to training and consultancy. His core skill lies in helping people and organisations to make a positive change for real benefit.

All roads lead to MoSCoW!

by Russell Parker Time to read: 1 min