Monday, 27 March 2017

MoSCoW Prioritisation - A Useful Guide

DSDM Atern Handbook - MoSCoW Prioritisation
DSDM Atern Handbook - MoSCoW Prioritisation


I've recently researched and built the first of my "Bite Size BA" training packages -
Prioritisng Requirements and MoSCoW Rules.

The acronym MoSCow was first used a few years back as part of the Agile development framework - Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM).

The method is now managed and developed by The Agile Business Consortium.

MoSCow stands for:
  • Must Have
  • Should Have
  • Could Have
  • Won't Have



Each requirement identified during the initial phases of requirements analysis should be classified under one of those headings.

This is based a solid Business Analysis principle - that all requirements should be identified - but not all should or will be carried forward into development of a new system.

All projects are subject to constraints of time and cost. These need to be balanced against the business requirements. Do we want to deliver more at higher cost and longer timescales - or deliver less but at lower cost and more quickly?

The answers will vary from project to project - but it is a very good principle to apply. This can be tricky in practice though - as some business users will say that they want everything - but also done quickly and a low cost! Not always possible - so the MoSCoW approach helps to focus the project and separate important requirements from "nice to haves but not absolutely necessary".

The Agile Business Consortium have developed a useful guide to this - which covers what this approach is and how to apply it. You can view on their website - here:
DSDM Atern Handbook - MoSCoW Prioritisation

I have developed a short PowerPoint presentation that summaries the key points.
You can also view that - on YouTube - here:
Bite Sized BA - Requirements Analysis - Prioritising Requirements

So in summary - a useful addition to "The Business Analysis Toolkit" and well worth a look.



Steve McIntosh - Business Analyst

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Steve McIntosh.
Business Analyst.
St Ives, Cornwall, UK.