The Moscow Prioritization Technique: How to Prioritize Tasks for Maximum Effect

When a project is getting started, several tasks are to be completed. Each task must be prioritized to maximize the chance for success, and that’s where the MoSCoW Prioritization Technique comes into play.

MoSCoW Is an Acronym That Stands For:

·Must – 

These tasks are critical and done at all costs. They must be completed to meet the project’s goal.

·Should – 

Shoulds should be prioritized as higher than maybes but lower than must-dos; these things should get done if time permits.


Maybes represent those items that might or might not need to be done; about half of these will end up getting cut from the final release. Consider including them because you can’t afford to do everything, not as a commitment (actual or implied).

·Won’t – 

Won’t’s shouldn’t even take up time considering them; while some of these tasks might be nice, they just aren’t going to happen.

To Further Illustrate the Moscow Prioritization Technique, Let’s Consider the Following Example:

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  • The must-do task is implementing a login screen. If this isn’t done by launch day, nobody will play the game. So this has to get done no matter what happens.
  • A should get implemented next – a button that takes players back to the start screen from anywhere in the app. This is important because testing will reveal areas where users get lost and have trouble finding their ways back home without any on how to proceed next. It’s also just a good idea for what players are used to with other games.
  • Maybes might include an achievement system and live multiplayer features once the game has launched successfully. The former helps establish long-term interest in the title and keeps players playing (and spending). The latter can increase player satisfaction by competing against friends and strangers alike.
  • As for won’ts – these tasks aren’t even worth considering right now; they may present themselves later during development, but they don’t need to be considered at this time.

The MoSCoW prioritization technique is most often used when planning out projects, especially those with limited resources like indie developers face regularly. Focusing on the musts and shoulds means that time can be spent developing what’s truly important while leaving other things for later (or not at all).

Purpose of the Moscow Prioritization Technique

As previously mentioned, the MoSCoW Prioritization Technique can be used for many different purposes. It is used mainly in project management when limited resources need to be divided among several tasks. The prioritizing helps determine which tasks are most important concerning time and money spent on them. By using this method, you can ensure that your budgets do not get wasted on items that aren’t necessary at one point during the development process or another.

Methods in Using the MoSCoW Prioritization Technique

There are multiple ways the MoSCoW Prioritization Technique can be applied in practice depending upon what exactly you want to use it for. For example, this prioritization technique can be used when dividing work among members of a development team. If one member is better at developing specific components than others, they can be placed in charge of important tasks while less skilled developers are given tasks that are considered less critical.

Another way this technique can be applied is concerning marketing time by considering which PR efforts will garner you the most benefits with your limited marketing budget. This sounds simple enough, but it’s easy to get caught up in stressing over which social media platform(s) provide the best return on investment and end up neglecting some other great opportunities that might get you even more exposure.

The MoSCoW Prioritization Technique is also used in prioritizing which tasks need to be done first on a project. For example, if you’re trying to develop multiple apps at once. In that case, it shouldn’t necessarily come down to simply picking the one with the most features and continuing to build off of it (unless more features are needed for that app). Instead, you can use this technique to prioritize which apps get worked on first; after all, your customer base is likely more interested in using specific titles than others, so why not focus your attention where it’s most needed?

How to Prioritize Tasks for Maximum Effect With the Moscow Method

To get started with prioritizing tasks using the MoSCoW Prioritization Technique, you’ll need to identify all of the tasks involved in a project. If writing down these items helps you keep track of them better, consider doing that as well. It’s also imperative that each task be assigned a point value ranging from 1-4 or even five if any important but rare tasks must be done before anything else.

The first step is to categorize these tasks into four different buckets:

 MUSTs (tasks that absolutely must be done)

SHOULDs (tasks that should be completed because they’re essential but aren’t necessary to complete the project successfully)

COULDs (tasks that would be nice to have but can be left out on a case by case basis)

WON’Ts (tasks that will not be completed under any circumstances)

Next, you’ll need to decide which tasks should go into each category. This is where the point values come in handy. Put simply, each job gets one point for every MUST, two points for every SHOULD, and three points for every COULD. However, because there are only four categories rather than five, any tasks that fall into the WILL NOT type get five points.

Once you’ve identified all of your tasks and assigned them point values based upon their prioritization, it comes down to totaling up the points for each category. The category with the lowest number is considered the most important and will be worked on first, while the one with the highest total gets prioritized last.

This method can also be used to help you determine which tasks get completed during a given period, such as a specific day of the week or month, by simply dividing up all of your tasks into thirds that get done one after another during each period. If there are any leftover tasks from earlier periods, they can just get taken care of during whichever time slot doesn’t have anything else.

Why Should You Prioritize Tasks Using MoSCoW?

As previously mentioned, prioritizing things properly is a great way to save money and time by focusing on what needs to be done first. For example, you might want to hire a new employee, but given your current workload, it would be much more efficient to wait until you have enough money saved up before doing so.

This is just one of many ways that the MoSCoW Prioritization Technique can help people save time and money while also increasing productivity in their lives. Be sure to check out these nine other essential tips for getting things done faster!

To Conclude

As we’ve just seen, prioritizing tasks using the MoSCoW Prioritization Technique can help you save money and time by focusing on what needs to be done first. For example, if your customer base is more interested in some apps than others, why not focus your attention there and prioritize accordingly?

Use the MoSCoW Prioritization method to help you prioritize tasks so that they get done in the most efficient manner possible.

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