Entrepreneurs across the world often have a fatal flaw. They want to deliver perfect projects, services and products to customers. Perfect is not always what is needed – How about ‘Just enough’?

Have you ever considered the ‘minimum requirement’ for what you need to deliver to your customers? This is normally what they have actually asked for but also still fulfils the brief, meets the cost required and certainly delivered in the time agreed. Here is an example to get you thinking:

Brief: Build a go-cart that can take me to the bottom of the hill, you have £25 and 1 day to build this.

The entrepreneur in their keenness to provide the perfect product and keep the customer happy will jump into impressive detailed specs, colour research, wind resistance measures, types of tyres and much more. But what if we break this task down into this…

Must Have’s, Should Have’s, Could Have’s and Won’t Haves – or MoSCoW for short.

Must Have’s Wheels (could be three or four), place for rider to sit to last journey to bottom of hill, framework, cost no more than £25
Should Have’s Steering (left and right with a rope is fine)


Could Have’s Painted Framework, Steering Wheel, Brakes, a Seat
Wont Have’s


Suspension, air tyres, be robust for multiple journeys (only one journey is specified), Detailed specifications, be trademarked, have a brand name, have an instruction manual, enter into red bull soap box race.


Just this easy example shows how much does not need delivering and even what is luxury. Time for any business should be focused to deliver ALL of the ‘Must have’s’ and the majority of the ‘Should have’s’. Anything beyond these two points means over-delivering and that hits both the businesses owners time and what they earn in profit potentially. The customer is still happy as the solution to their problem is delivered and they may not even know or worry about additional options. Customer service is key and important for retention of customers and sometimes a little extra is a nice incentive but try and see that as a marketing or brand cost rather than a strategy of constant over delivery to specifications or briefs. Once you set the bar with a customer, over delivery will become the norm and a cycle of pressure is created, a cycle that is completely of that businesses own making and not from the customer.

MoSCoW is part of a business methodology called Agile and as qualified agile practitioners we will explore more benefits from this method in further blogs. For now your ‘Must Have’ from reading this blog is not about ‘Being Agile’ it is just to test MoSCoW in your business.  Imagine using this to build a new website or launch a new product to market?. MoSCoW even works in managing your everyday life – It’s amazing just how much you don’t actually need to fit into a day!.

Karen Hoyle – Chief Spook, Ghost Consulting

Credits: Image from article on Red Bull Soap Race The Independent Online