The streetwise guide to the MoSCoW prioritization technique

MoSCoWing requirements on projects allows you to deliver on time by being flexible with your features. To be streetwise with the MoSCoW technique you need to follow some basic rules when prioritizating requirements.

In the MoSCoW method, a requirement is either a:

  • Must have
  • Should have
  • Could have
  • Won’t have

The MoSCoW method enables you to deliver on time whilst protecting the quality of the solution. By agreeing what is important, you can flex requirements to deliver on time.

This ultimate guide helps you understand different requirements, how to prioritize these into ‘must haves’, ‘should haves’, ‘could haves’ and ‘won’t haves’, and explains why you need to accept that all requirements may not need to be prioritized as a ‘must have’.

You can learn about MoSCoW prioritization by attending either a PRINCE2 Agile course, or an Agile Project Management course.

The guide below provides information on how to breakdown the categorise different requirements, with a range of tips and real MoSCoW examples to follow.

We answer questions such as ‘What happens when my customer tells me everything is a must?’, and ‘When is a must not a must?’


This page contains a video about MoSCoW prioritization.


To download the streetwise guide to the MoSCoW prioritization technique, click the download button below.