MoSCoW Methodology In A Nutshell

Prioritization performs a vital function in each enterprise. In a great world, companies have sufficient time and sources to finish each process inside a undertaking satisfactorily.  The MoSCoW methodology is a process prioritization framework. It’s best in conditions the place many duties should be prioritized into an actionable to-do checklist. The framework relies on 4 fundamental classes that give it the title: Should have (M), Ought to have (S), May have (C), and Received’t have (W).

Understanding the MoSCoW methodology

Since unexpected setbacks are inevitable, process prioritization ensures that probably the most related and necessary duties are accomplished first. Initiatives missing in process prioritization rapidly change into disorganized and chaotic. 

As an alternative of a scientific course of, sources are sometimes assigned to duties by those who merely have probably the most affect within the room. Invariably, this comes on the expense of the success of the undertaking and of the group itself.

The MoSCoW methodology categorizes necessities primarily based on their intrinsic worth to the enterprise. Necessities mostly take the type of duties however change processes and targets may also be analyzed.

The strategy relies on an acronym from the primary letter of 4 prioritization classes.

Within the subsequent part, we are going to have a look at every class in additional element.

The 4 prioritization classes of the MoSCoW methodology

All necessities are necessary to MoSCoW methodology rules, however they have to be categorized in keeping with precedence to ship most profit to the enterprise. 

Listed here are the 4 classes in descending order of precedence:

  • Should have (M) – or necessities that should be happy for the undertaking or resolution to be a hit. These necessities play a significant function in assembly deadlines and satisfying authorized or security requirements. If the results of a requirement not being met is undertaking cancellation, then it occupies this class.
  • Ought to have (S) – or necessary (however not important) necessities resembling a scarcity of effectivity or unfavorable stakeholder expectations. These so-called “secondary necessities” normally have a workaround and don’t considerably impression the undertaking being delivered. In any case, they need to solely be rectified as soon as “must-have” necessities have been happy.
  • May have (C) – this consists of necessities that may be good to include on the proviso that they don’t have an effect on anything. Nevertheless, leaving them out of the undertaking scope should end in little impression compared with a “ought to have” requirement. This class generally consists of low-cost refinements which can be carried out offered there may be adequate time to take action.
  • Received’t have (W) – these necessities are both past the scope of the undertaking or add little worth. They could be possible for a future undertaking replace and needs to be saved away for later reference. For instance, a brand new rideshare firm could shelve plans for a premium automotive choice till usability points with its app have been resolved.

Benefits and drawbacks of the MoSCoW methodology


  • Ease of use. The strategy is simple to study and implement as a result of it’s primarily based on fundamental rules of process prioritization.
  • Accuracy. Correct process prioritization is reliant on group consensus lead by an neutral moderator. It doesn’t depend on biased prioritization the place large personalities can affect others.
  • Versatility. The MoSCoW methodology can be utilized for any undertaking and any sized firm.


  • Lack of class sorting. Whereas the strategy offers clear steerage on categorization, it doesn’t recommend how necessities inside the classes needs to be sorted.
  • Bias. Regardless of the team-based strategy, bias can nonetheless happen when most necessities are mistakenly positioned within the “must-have” class. Some companies discover it useful to stipulate that not more than 60% of all undertaking necessities could be labeled as excessive precedence.

MoSCoW methodology examples

Under we’ve listed a number of normal examples of the MoSCoW methodology in motion.

Growing a undertaking administration app

  • Should have – process task, file attachment, workflow monitoring, and integration with Google Calendar.
  • Ought to have – Kanban view, Notion integration, cell app model, in-app messaging, and time monitoring performance.
  • May have – collaborative whiteboard (in-app), Chrome help (add-on), integration with Slack, and a characteristic that visualizes key undertaking development indicators.
  • Received’t have – video conferencing. 

Designing a block of residences for a brand new metropolis improvement

  • Should have – cement, bricks, home windows, correct air flow, fireplace hoses for every flooring, pile foundations, and a stairwell for emergencies.
  • Ought to have – a compact, modular kitchen, doorways created from composite materials, soundproofed partitions, two elevators, no less than two bedrooms per residence, and ducted, reverse cycle heating and cooling.
  • May have – load-bearing balconies (with a balustrade), inside staircases for penthouse residences, outside leisure areas, and an intercom system.
  • Received’t have – conventional gardens, water options, and a separate laundry room for a washer and dryer.

Product improvement for a males’s pockets

  • Should have – two slots for banknotes, ten compartments for credit score and debit playing cards, sturdy building materials, and high-quality stitching.
  • Ought to have – leather-based as the first composition, a transverse horizontal compartment, a clear bank card sleeve, and a small firm brand on the surface face.
  • May have – a lovely, timeless coloration or sample on the within of the banknote slots, a further clear sleeve for treasured photographs, and a small, zippered coin pouch.
  • Received’t have – cream or beige coloured leather-based that stains or wears simply, exterior steel accents that may catch on the fabric contained in the wearer’s pocket.

Buying a brand new automobile

  • Should have – no less than seven seats, 4WD, a 5-star security ranking, a hybrid engine, entrance and rear passenger airbags, adaptive cruise management, tow bar, and Apple CarPlay.
  • Ought to have – reverse parking sensors, digital brakeforce distribution (EBD), blind spot mirror warnings, an electrical driver’s seat with customizable settings, and Bluetooth.
  • May have – lane departure warning system, heated seats, restricted slip differential, sunroof, leather-based upholstery, heart airbags, distant parking, intersection-scanning autonomous emergency braking (AEB), and reside blind spot video feed.
  • Received’t have – a small, four-cylinder engine, screens that aren’t touch-sensitive, haptic controls that substitute buttons, spoiler, and voice recognition.

Constructing a web site for a legislation agency that wishes to allow shoppers to trace their court docket instances

  • Should have – sturdy coding free from any bugs, most uptime, a easy consumer registration system, a secure and sturdy private listing that can not be accessed by malicious actors, and discoverability on the primary web page of Google search outcomes for the corporate title key phrase.
  • Ought to have – a contemporary, intuitive, and responsive design and navigation, electronic mail notifications, a website with pages that load rapidly, nofollow hyperlinks to exterior websites or organizations, a excessive distinction coloration scheme, and a outstanding “Contact Us” web page.
  • May have – a weblog part with data on business information and traits, customized menus with submenus, and an introductory video on the homepage.
  • Received’t have – an excessive amount of textual content, no whitespace, and pages with no cell optimization.

Key takeaways

  • The MoSCoW methodology is a requirement prioritization framework. It could be used to categorise duties, targets, or change processes.
  • The MoSCoW methodology makes use of 4 requirement classes in keeping with the diploma that every requirement impacts the general undertaking.
  • The MoSCoW methodology is a flexible, correct, and comparatively easy course of to study. Nevertheless, it may be liable to bias and it doesn’t recommend how necessities inside classes needs to be prioritized.

MoSCoW Methodology and its Software: Key Takeaways

  • MoSCoW Methodology Overview: The MoSCoW methodology is a process prioritization framework used to categorize necessities, duties, or change processes primarily based on their significance and impression on a undertaking’s success. It makes use of 4 fundamental classes: Should have (M), Ought to have (S), May have (C), and Received’t have (W).
  • Significance of Prioritization: Prioritization is crucial for efficient undertaking administration, making certain that probably the most essential duties are addressed first. With out correct prioritization, initiatives can change into disorganized and chaotic.
  • Classes of the MoSCoW Methodology:
    1. Should have (M): These are necessities that should be happy for the undertaking’s success. They’re essential for assembly deadlines, authorized requirements, or security necessities. Failure to satisfy these necessities may result in undertaking cancellation.
    2. Ought to have (S): These necessities are necessary however not important. They could impression effectivity or stakeholder expectations. Secondary necessities needs to be addressed after must-have necessities are happy.
    3. May have (C): These are fascinating necessities that may very well be integrated if they don’t negatively have an effect on different facets. They could embrace refinements or options that improve the undertaking.
    4. Received’t have (W): These necessities are past the undertaking’s scope or add minimal worth. They could be thought of for future updates or initiatives.
  • Benefits of the MoSCoW Methodology:
    • Ease of Use: The strategy is simple to study and implement.
    • Accuracy: Prioritization relies on group consensus, decreasing bias.
    • Versatility: The strategy could be utilized to numerous initiatives and firm sizes.
  • Disadvantages of the MoSCoW Methodology:
    • Lack of Sorting: The strategy doesn’t present steerage on sorting necessities inside classes.
    • Bias: Bias can nonetheless happen, with too many necessities labeled as must-have. Some companies set limits on high-priority necessities.
  • Examples of the MoSCoW Methodology:
    • Challenge Administration App: Should have – process task, Ought to have – Kanban view, May have – collaborative whiteboard, Received’t have – video conferencing.
    • Condo Design: Should have – correct air flow, Ought to have – soundproofed partitions, May have – load-bearing balconies, Received’t have – conventional gardens.
    • Males’s Pockets: Should have – banknote slots, Ought to have – leather-based composition, May have – enticing coloration sample, Received’t have – simply stained leather-based.
    • Car Buy: Should have – 4WD, security ranking, hybrid engine, Ought to have – reverse parking sensors, May have – lane departure warning, Received’t have – small engine.

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