Prioritise your deliverables using MoSCoW

MoSCoW in Agile

In Agile development methodologies, MoSCoW is not a reference to the city, but rather an acronym used to prioritize and categorize requirements or features. MoSCoW stands for:

  1. M – Must have: These are the most critical requirements or features that are essential for the project’s success. They are typically the core functionality that must be delivered in a specific iteration or release.
  2. S – Should have: These are important requirements or features that are not as critical as “Must have” items but still contribute significantly to the project’s success. They are desirable to include if possible.
  3. C – Could have: These are features or requirements that are nice to have but are not essential. They are lower priority and can be included if time and resources permit.
  4. W – Won’t have (or Wish to have later): These are features or requirements that are explicitly excluded from the current project or release. They might be considered for future phases or not at all.

The MoSCoW method helps development teams and stakeholders to prioritize work items and make clear decisions about what should be included in the current development cycle. It facilitates better communication and alignment on priorities among team members and stakeholders.

You may want to read up on INVEST and DEEP principes in Agile too. Both MoSCoW and INVEST are used in Agile, they serve different purposes and are applied at different stages of the project. MoSCoW is focused on prioritization and categorization of requirements, helping teams determine what to work on first. INVEST, on the other hand, is used for writing and refining user stories to make sure they are of high quality and ready for development. Both techniques contribute to the success of Agile projects but address different aspects of project management and development.

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About the Author: Anuj Seth

Anuj is a certified PMP with over 20 years of Software Development and Management experience. He founded PM Tips in 2020. Contributors are welcome. Drop him a note via the Contact page.

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