Moscow – a reference technique helping you to define Product Roadmap or MVP priorities

Sometimes when we are requested to present a Product Road-map it is hard to start… Start from where? Which features? Which inter-dependencies? How to define priorities? Priorities in the order of the tasks or in the features to enhance product value?

Well, plenty of questions will come to our minds… but we need to start from somewhere. Here you have a suggestion how sometimes I’m approaching this Roadmap creation challenge:  


MOSCOW is just a mnemonics, a very simple word to remember a very useful technique to support you in the product backlog organization and, at the end, supporting your product Roadmap organization   Moscow in this context is not the town.   giving you a feature prioritization:

  • Must Have
  • Should Have
  • Could Have
  • Would Have

How can you apply MOSCOW?

  1. You should start listing all requirements in your backlog, without any order.
  2. After you should classify them in MOSCOW 4 categories: Must, Should, Could and Would Have. This is typically a Product Owner task.

Have in mind that it is very helpful also to other team members (Scrum Master and all Dev Team)  to understand the reasons behind this prioritization. Those value reasons can also have impact in product architecture refinements. So share the reasons behind it can be useful to the Technical Architect to understand which feature have higher or lower value in the overall product.
MOSCOW gives the priority for the incremental value planned to be added to the product in each sprint. Moscow technique also can help you defining:

  • Your Minimum Viable Product;
  • Inter-dependencies between stories;
  • The order of your Grooming Meetings, the most important one should be estimated first and discussed how to be implemented;
  • Your Sprint Planning;
  • If you work in Kanban, gives you immediately the next story to be picked-up from the list of planned to start.

I hope this helps you to start planning more efficiently 🙂
Leave your comment with your experience and other techniques that you can recommend for the same end.

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