Prioritization techniques

For most projects, prioritization will have to be done to determine which requirements will be implemented within the time available. It balances time and budget constraints against scope. The information included in the Change Request template should be used to determine priorities, when available. If a Change Request is not filled out, refer to it for the questions that should be asked when prioritizing.

Prioritization should include Project Managers and Business Analysts.  Developers, Subject Matter Experts, and Sponsors may also be included.

MoSCoW analysis

This analysis divides requirements into four categories: Must, Should, Could, and Won’t. To categorize at the most basic level, impact and effort should be analyzed.

Priority scale

Very similar to MoSCoW analysis, but the priorities are categorized according to a scale of High (the user needs the capability and/or there are regulatory/legal obligations), medium (the requirement is important but not urgent), and low (the user can live without the capability).


Participants who set priorities can be put into a room together to vote on the priorities. The most effective voting technique is to have everybody show their vote at once so that nobody succumbs to peer pressure. This can be done with tokens, or it can be done by everyone displaying a number between 1 and 10. Outliers should be asked for their explanations for their votes and a subsequent vote can be taken until there is some consensus.

Priority matrix

A priority matrix considers different criteria such as business value, risk, complexity to implement, compliance, dependencies on other requirements, urgency, etc. and assigns weights/points to assist with determining priorities. The information included in the Change Request template would be useful to put into a priority matrix as measurement items.