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Source: Project Smart
Published: May 2014

The MoSCoW Method

Circulated: October 22, 2020

There is always more to do than time or funding permits, hence the need for prioritization.


The MoSCoW method is a prioritization technique used in management, business analysis, project management, and software development to reach a common understanding with stakeholders on the importance they place on the delivery of each requirement.


M - MUST meet this requirement to be viable, non-negotiable.

S - SHOULD meet this requirement to achieve success, important but not vital.

C - COULD meet this requirement if efficient, a nice to have.

W - WOULD like to provide this requirement in the future; re-evaluate later.


Example: Customer requirements for autonomous vehicles may be categorized as


M - MUST be safe and reliable.

S - SHOULD be more fuel-efficient than vehicles today.

C - COULD be more spacious without a need for the steering wheel.

W - WOULD be nice if it parked itself after dropping a rider off.

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