MoSCoW feature prioritization template
A simple way to prioritize product features for an epic, project or other initiative
Must have
Should have
Could have
Won’t have
Essential features that the product needs in order to be viable in the first release
Think v1.1 not v2!
Essential features that can wait for a future release
Nice-to-have features
Features that are being excluded
This is an opportunity to set expectations
About this template

Use this template to align your team around what’s most important as part of an epic, project, initiative or release.


  • a good understanding of user needs, so that you can make informed decisions about what’s essential and what isn’t
  • clear business objectives so that you can weigh these up against user needs during prioritization
  • features clearly broken down into user stories or other similar ‘chunks’ so that they can be prioritized in a straightforward fashion

You can run this exercise synchronously or asynchronously, and with each feature, decide whether it is a:

  • Must have: essential for the success of the initiative and needs to be in the first release
  • Should have: essential but can wait until a subsequent release – you can think of these as ‘v1.1’ features
  • Could have: nonessential but still valuable, and so should still be considered to be part of this project
  • Won’t have: explicitly excluded – this is a great way to set expectations for what’s getting axed

Finally, it’s often helpful to bring a broader range of people into this exercise than you might have in sprint planning, for example, as it’s a great way to bring people on board with your thinking in a reasonably time-boxed way.

Last updated 6 months ago