Use Cases - What are they, What are they for?

Stop by to discuss use cases, requirements, information architecture, flow diagraming, unit testing and usability.

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marielle
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Use Cases - What are they, What are they for?

Post by marielle » Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:07 am

Customers and end users have goals (also known as needs in the UP) and want computer systems to help meet them, whether as mercantile as recording sales or as complex as estimating the flow of oil from future wells.

Use cases are a mechanism to help capture these goals and system requirements in a format that simple and understandable for all stakeholders. Informally, they are stories of using a system to meet goals. Here is an example brief format use case:
Process Sale: A customer arrives at a checkout with items to purchase. The cashier uses the POS system to record each purchased item. The system presents a running total and line-item details. The customer enters payment information, which the system validates and records. The system updates inventory. The customer receives a receipt from the system and then leaves with the items.
An excellent resource on use-case is:
Use-Case Model: Writing Requirements in Context

Templates you can adapt to your needs are included in this long pdf.

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I only started using these for my own project. If you have some experience using use-cases to support your development efforts? What are the benefits? What are the pitfalls.?

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