MUST HAVE, SHOULD HAVE, COULD HAVE, WON'T HAVE
Minimum A3 size sheet of paper or bigger, a computer file or a whiteboard
Pens and markers of different colours
What is this tool and what is its purpose and benefit?
Must have, Should have, Could have, Won’t have also called the MosCoW method is a prioritising tool for a project, in this case a service. It helps to identify and ideate aspects a service must have to exist and work, should have which are good but not compulsory to have, could have which are not necessary but would be nice to have to improve the user experience, and won’t have which are features not to have in any case. It is most often used for projects with tight timelines to convey what is most necessary at that time. However, it can also be used for general service ideation and may create specifications for further and more targeted ideation.
Steps how to use this tool in practice
The same steps apply when working individually, in pairs or in a group.
Take from the research results the essential findings for aspects and elements of a service to have and not to have using the questions below and ideate new ones based on the findings. Write these down on a whiteboard or a big sheet of paper under different categories given below. You can also write these on sticky notes put under each category, as those are easy to move around and group.
Start adding first what a service must have. What is absolutely needed to make it work and make it desirable? These are basic requirements.
Add next what a service should have, but is not compulsory to make it work. These are the first level of added elements and features of a service to make it more desirable and usable, and increase its added value.
What a service could have, includes features that would be nice to have, but are not necessarily needed to make the service accepted. These may for example differentiate it from competitors.
Then list what the service won’t have at all or at that specific timeframe of development, elements which are least essential. However, it is worth saving these for later development.
Look at these ideas and organise them until you are happy.
Identify the most essential must, should, could and won’t haves and write them down for further and more specified service ideation.
Do another round of ideation using the list as your specifications for this second more detailed ideation round.
Tips and hints for using this tool
Specifications ideated at this stage can be used later in evaluation too.
The method can also be used for general work and project management, such as prioritising work and resources.
The method was suggested by Dai Clegg and Richard Barker in their paper “Case Method Fast-Track: A RAD Approach”.