Moscow Technique for Prioritisation of Business Requirements

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While there is an initial phase of MoSCoW where your team categorizes all project requirements by priority, this does not mean the end of the MoSCoW process. Each time a milestone is reached, the remaining milestones must be (briefly) reassessed. MoSCoW (Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, Won`t Have This Time) is mainly used to prioritize requirements, although the practice is also useful in many other areas. For a typical project, DSDM recommends no more than 60% effort for the requirements of a project and a reasonable pool of possible people, usually around 20% effort. Any effort required above 60% poses a risk to the success and predictability of the project, unless the environment and each technology are well understood, the team is well established, and external risks are minimal. Each requirement defined as a must have has, by definition, a decisive influence on the success of the project. The project manager, business analyst and any other member of the solution development team should talk openly about requirements that are prioritized as essential if they are not obvious must-haves (“Without this, we would cancel the project/increment?”); It is up to the business visionary or their authorized business ambassador to explain why a requirement is essential. The escalation of decision-making processes should be agreed at the outset, e.g. business ambassador and business analyst to business visionary to corporate sponsor, and the level of empowerment should be agreed in decision-making at each level. At the end of a project increment, any requirements that have not been met are reprioritized based on the requirements of the next increment. This means, for example, that a could-have that is not filled in an increment can then be reclassified as an aura for the next increment because it does not contribute enough to the company`s requirements to justify its inclusion.

However, it might as well become a must for the next increment if its low priority in the first increment is due to the fact that it simply isn`t needed in the first solution increment. Once there is a clear set of requirements, it is important to organize them. This ranking helps everyone (client, project manager, business analyst, designer, developer) understand the most critical requirements, in what order to develop them and what is not, when there is pressure on resources. This prioritization method was developed by Dai Clegg in 1994 and first widely used in DSDM, for which Dai Clegg kindly donated the intellectual property. When deciding on the effort for the essential requirements, keep in mind that anything that is not essential is a contingency to some extent, as the must have define the minimum usable SubseT that is guaranteed to be delivered. One of the most challenging aspects of MoSCoW technology is learning which categories their initiatives should fall into. As a manager, you need to know which initiatives on your team are “must haves” for their product or which are simply “must haves”. Using MoSCoW works particularly well for projects. It also overcomes the problems associated with simpler prioritization approaches based on relative priorities: requirements need to be prioritized because stakeholders can`t always have everything they want, or should I say because we can`t always give them everything they want. This isn`t because we don`t like their faces, but because most projects come with a limited budget and schedule.

As a BA, how do you make sure you focus on the most important requirements? M — Must have. This first category includes all the prerequisites necessary for the success of the project. These should be non-negotiable elements that provide the minimum requirement (MUST) of the requirements. It is the requirements that represent the main set of contingencies, as they would only be delivered in their entirety in the best case. If a problem arises and the time limit is compromised, one or more of the powers offer the first choice of what to remove from that time limit. Under certain circumstances, the percentage of effort required may be well below 60%.

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