J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

MUST vs. SHOULD vs. COULD

MUST vs. SHOULD vs. COULD

  • Comments 6

Whether I'm dealing with software requirements, or I'm prioritizing my personal TO Dos, I think in terms of MUST, SHOULD, COULD.  It's simpple but effective.

Here's an example of some scenarios and usage:

  • getting a quick handle on my day - what MUST I do today?  what SHOULD I do?  What COULD I do?
  • prioritizing my personal backlog - what MUST I do today?  what MUST I do this week?  What should I do? What could I do?
  • focusing my teams - what MUST we release this week?  What SHOULD we release this week?  what COULD we release this week?
  • brainstorming sessions - what COULD we do?  What SHOULD we do? what MUST we do?
  • determining an incremental release - what are the MUSTs for this software release?  What are the SHOULDs?  What are the COULDs?
  • helping a customer identify their security objectives - What security constraints MUST be met for this software?
  • helping a customer identify their performance objectives - what performance constraints MUST be met for this software?

It's easy to get lost among SHOULDs and COULDs.  I find factoring MUSTs from the SHOULDs and COULDs helps get clarity around immediate action.

  • Building software involves a lot of communication. Behind this communication, lies perspectives. These

  • Why don't you just say that you are using the MoSCoW prioritisation system popularised by the DSDM methodology? :-)

    You just forgot to mention the Wish (aka "Would like to but will not this time round")

  • I'm rolling my own task management database [!] so I found this post somewhat useful -- now I will separate Crucial tasks from Important, Useful, and Optional. Thanks!

  • How do I efficiently and effectively prioritize my day ... my week ... my life? In an earlier post, I

  • If you're backlogged and you want to get out, here's a quick, low tech, brute force approach. On your

  • Hello! Good Site! Thanks you! jdpbpxpuhhc

Page 1 of 1 (6 items)