What does Kano Model mean in Project Management?

The Kano model is away prioritising requirements based on the needs and expectations of your customers. The original model was created in the 1980s by Professor Noriaki Kano. It prioritises features using five categories: Must-Be, Attractive, One-dimensional, Indifferent, and Reverse.

Must be

These are things that your customers expect and must be included.


These are features that are nice to have, but equally will not take your customers unhappy if they are not there.


These are things that will make your customers happy when they are there but unhappy if they are not.


These are things that have no impact on your customers but might have impact on the backend. For example, removing customisations or reducing the number of clicks that call center agents must make.


Things that make users unhappy when they are there. For example, things that irritate your customers like a new step to order a product or having to put the same information into places.

How to use the Kano model

The Kano model is great for prioritising your products and sprint backlogs. Particularly if the development team tend to focus on Must-Be or Indifferent items. Ensuring that you also include Attractive and One-dimensional features will help to keep your products ahead of the game.

See all project management words

Methodology specific dictionaries / glossaries