The moscow method is a prioritization technique that was developed in the 1970s. This prioritization technique is used by project managers to prioritize software requirements and technical documents for development activities.
Prioritization techniques are important in software development because they allow the project manager to focus development on the most critical items first, thereby reducing risk and allowing any potential problems with less critical items to be identified and resolved early before more time or money has been invested.
In addition, moscow prioritization allows project managers to set an accurate budget for a specific feature set by allocating budgets based on relative criticality so there is no wasted effort during product development.
The moscow method provides five methods of prioritizing projects: M1 through M5.
Method moscow 1 (M1) is the most basic prioritization technique and consists of identifying all requirements, scheduling them by importance based on a predefined criteria, and building those with the highest priority first.
This method is often not good for prioritising a large number of projects as it can be very time-consuming due to the requirement to schedule each project. Moscow Method 2(M2) takes into account interdependence between projects so that you can plan dependencies between projects in order of criticality.
For example if Project A has a dependency on Project B then you would look at both project’s schedules and plan that Project A will begin after Project begins instead of looking at only Project A’s schedule.
The moscow technique is used to prioritize tasks by assessing their cost, benefit, urgency and risks. The moscow method takes into account interdependence between projects so that you can plan dependencies between projects in order of criticality.
For example if Project A has a dependency on Project B then you would look at both project’s schedules and plan that Project A will begin after Project B begins instead of looking at only Project A’s schedule.
Each project must have an objective for why it exists which should be stated as the problem or opportunity being addressed or solved by this project. As part of using moscow method one must ask themselves these questions: “What is the problem you are trying to solve? How will this project impact the business?”
Moscow prioritization is an input-driven method with a focus on decision making at the portfolio level. A set of projects are selected so that each project selected adds value in some measurable way to the organization.
Some techniques used when Moscow prioritization are lexicographic sorting, payback period, NPV and ROI. The moscow technique was developed in Russia in 1962 by F Moskovitch.
This technique has been proven to be efficient in both large and small organizations including NASA, GM and Procter & Gamble among others. The moscow method does not always tell you what to do but is a way of prioritizing projects and is intended to give an impression of what is really important.
The moscow prioritization method has been applied in different kinds of investment decisions such as project, process improvement, portfolio management and sourcing/location decisions.
It has also been used in many organizations including Johnson & Johnson, Olgivy & Mather Worldwide, TNS Media Network and the UK Office for National Statistics.
A set can be selected out of several alternatives with criteria that have to be met by all alternatives. The projects are then ordered from best to worst according to their scores on each criterion so that there is one alternative at the top of the list which gets the highest score on all criteria. This ensures that the moscow criteria for all of the alternatives is met.
Or: There is a set of alternative projects and we need to pick one out of them. To make selection simple we define some criteria for each of the projects and define their weights. We calculate value for each project based on its score on each criterion and order them from highest to lowest. The moscow method helps us pick one which has the highest total value score in this list.
There are several methods that can be used for this purpose such as Pugh Concept Selection, Analytic Hierarchy Process, TOPSIS or AHP Method with Weighted Added models
The moscow method avoids using sensitive information in process comparisons by removing them from calculations in a simplified model which makes it easier for “controlling” at the same time avoiding any mistakes and misuse of the method which could occur if it was not simplified. It’s based on moscow prioritization criteria and weighs each project/product/task by its moscow value (MOS). The moscow method comes from moscow to prioritize projects. It is a method that helps us determine order in which we should do products or tasks by their priority, moscow value or total value. The moscow methods can be applied to any type of question: how we should organize our school subjects and hours, and activities and subordinates at work…
There are three steps:
1) define criteria;
2) assign points;
3) calculate moscow value.
Its purpose is to provide a simple method for determining priorities, without taking into account other subjective factors which can interfere in the decision-making process. The moscow methodology was born from moscow to prioritize projects and decisions based on criteria and points assigned: 3 points for the most, 2 points for second and 1 point for third priority. It’s a technique that gives us an alternative approach to establishing objectives, strategies and policies… This method has been used by countries such as Germany where it happened in the Berlin World Fair in 1886, later this method was taken over by other countries such as Brazil, Canada, Mexico or China.