AgilePM 08: Business Need
Decisions during a project should be made depending on the project goal – delivering what is needed when it is needed. For this, project teams need to ensure that they understand the real priorities, that they establish a business case that is valid, and that they are able to guarantee the delivery of the Minimum Usable SubseT (MUST).
Unfortunately, this does not always happen. As an example, the graph below shows that many times, a large amount of the features of new software are never used. This translates in a waste of many work hours.
In order to avoid such disastrous situations, particularly when using Agile methodologies, we need a proper prioritization method. One which is characteristic to DSDM is the MoSCoW prioritization. This method is also used in other methodologies, including Waterfall ones – such as PRINCE2.
MoSCoW differentiates between:
- Must have: vital functions, or functions which are needed to comply to regulations
- Should have: not vital functions, but required. Workaround possible.
- Could have: additional functions that bring value to the product but are not required
- Won’t have this time
Often it’s difficult for the customer or business people to differentiate between “must have” and “should have”. For this reason, the “must have” for any product should be determined by the technical and management people after a conversation with the other stakeholders. In adaptive systems, we need to start by first developing the “must have” items, and then move on to “should have” and, later, “could have” functions. This focus on the business need, a DSDM principle, allows the development of a fully functional product as early as possible, less important features being added as time constraints allow.