How to use MoSCoW

How to use MoSCoW

The MoSCoW method helps project managers prioritize client requirements and work to be done.

MoSCoW divides tasks among those that Must be done, those that Should be done, those that Could be done and those that Won’t be done.

MoSCoW and other such tools are often used when managing agile projects. You’ll learn these techniques and more when you enroll in an agile project management course.

MoSCoW prioritization

Must

Tasks that are ‘musts’ are key to the current delivery timebox in order for it to be a success. ‘Musts’ can never be left incomplete by the end of a sprint, otherwise the product won’t work as intended.

Should

‘Shoulds’ are important to delivery but not critical in the current iteration. After the ‘musts’ have been completed, teams will move to these tasks next.

Could

These tasks are desirable but not necessary. They might improve the user experience or customer satisfaction. If teams complete all other, more important tasks, they can use what time they have left to work on these. But, if time is short, these tasks will be the first to be removed from the list.

Won’t

These are the least critical items. Generally, they will be ignored as they aren’t worth the time. Some tasks may occasionally be designated ‘won’t’ because they are not appropriate at that time. They might be revisited later.

MoSCoW infographic

This infographic explains how to use the MoSCoW system to prioritise what you deliver.

How to use MoSCoW Infographic