MoSCoW Prioritization Categories
As the name suggests, this category consists of initiatives that are “musts” for your team. They represent non-negotiable needs for the project, product, or release in question. For example, if you’re releasing a healthcare application, a must-have initiative may be security functionalities that help maintain compliance.
Anything in the “must-have” category is considered mandatory for the team to complete. If you’re unsure about whether something belongs in this category, ask yourself the following.
What happens if we release without this?
Is there a workaround or more simple way to accomplish this?
Will the release/project/product work without this initiative?
If the product won’t work without an initiative, or the release becomes useless without it, the initiative is most likely a “must-have.”
Should-have initiatives are just a step below must-haves. They are important to the product, project, or release, but they are not vital. If left out, the product or project still functions. However, if they are included, they add significant value.
“Should-have” initiatives are different from “must-have” initiatives in that they can be slated for a future release without impacting the current one. For example performance improvements, minor bug fixes, or new functionality, may be “should-have” initiatives. Without them, the product still works.
Another way of describing “could-have” initiatives is nice-to-haves. “Could-have” initiatives are not necessary to the core function of the product. Compared with “should-have” initiatives, they have much smaller impact on the outcome if they are left out.