Friday, January 20, 2006

Best Practices for Writing Use Cases

Are your use cases clear both for your users and for your developers ? Here are some tips:
  • Be careful with UML diagrams. Only use them for a high level model to show relationships between actors and use cases. Use case descriptions are textual
  • Main scenario 3-9 steps. Bird's eye view
  • No IF-statements, but main scenario's plus extensions
  • Brainstorm on goal failures
    • evaluate, eliminate, merge
  • Manage your energy: work breadth first
    • Actors and goals
    • Use case brief, main scenario
    • Failure conditions
    • Failure handling
  • Goal based, find the right goal. 3 levels: summary, user goals, subfunctions
  • What does the primary actor really want ?
  • WHY is this actor doing this step/goal ?
  • Write short, clear, easy to read use cases
    • Use cases are communication instruments
    • Customers/Users: Is it this what you want ?
    • Developers: Can you develop this ?
    • Like "Actors verbs the system", ie. Customer debets his account
  • Use Cases describe the functional requirements of a system, other requirements are described in supplementary specifications: performance, user interface requirements, IO formats, data formats, ...
With which of these tips can you improve your use cases ? Or do you have other tips ?

To learn more about writing use cases: Writing Effective Use Cases, by Alistair Cockburn, Addison-Wesley 2001.

Digg this story


Blogger Scott Sehlhorst said...

Great post about use case best practices! We recently published a series of posts on use cases, going into more detail about the different forms - formal, informal, UML. Here's a link to the introduction to the series on use cases.

I believe it complements what you've written and provides a good next step for your readers. I hope you'll take a look.

Keep writing, I'm enjoying what you're sharing with us.


Friday, January 27, 2006 5:35:00 AM  
Anonymous chopped strand mat said...

Thanks for nice info. It's useful for me. Can you give me some more information with details? I will wait for your next post Thanks a lot.

Saturday, August 24, 2013 2:44:00 AM  
Anonymous office furniture for sale west palm beach said...

I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I've truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts.

Saturday, January 17, 2015 9:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Miami Luxury Condos For Sale said...

Favorite post having such an fantastic and useful informative content.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 5:30:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Read more about Software Quality at the <<Software Quality Weblog Home