MoSCoW Rules

MoSCoW Rules

MoSCoW Rules (DSDM, 1997)are a way of prioritizing user scenarios and feature to ensure that the right features are implemented first. In a proposed system to be developed, each feature or user scenario should be assigned one of the following four priorities.

  • Must-haves; the product will not function without these therefore these must be implemented.
  • Should-haves; these provide significant added value, but the product will deliver its core value without them, if time or budget require it, these can be deferred without sacrificing core value.
  • Could-haves; time and budget permitting these could be nice features to include.
  • Won’t-haves; may be of varying value but the team knows time and budget will preclude their implementation in the current iteration, these are generally kept for future consideration.

Each development iteration should include “M”, “S” and “C” scenarios and features. If only “Must-haves” are included, the team loses its flexibility to actively manage the project scope.