Monday, October 25, 2010

Use case best practices (UML)

Seven Tips for Writing Successful Use Cases:

 Tip 1: Develop Your Use Cases Iteratively:

Don’t get caught up during Inception by trying to define your use cases in great detail. Early in your project, use cases should be lightweight

Tip 2: Involve Users Directly:

User involvement (truly hearing the “voice of the customer”) is critical to successfully developing use cases. After all, your job is to describe what users really need and not the project team’s interpretation of possible needs.

Prototypes developed in the presence of users, or at least reviewed with them, bring your use cases to life.

Tip 3: Depict Your Use Cases Visually:

diagrams can help you see the larger context for a set of logically related use cases. In real
projects, groups of use cases are often used in conjunction with each other.

Diagrams like these help everyone keep the big picture in mind.

Tip 4: Use Your Use Cases to Harvest Nonfunctional Requirements:

The key to uncovering nonfunctional requirements is to ask good questions as you elicit your use cases. As you begin to specify the functionality needed to achieve the goal of each use case, ask questions of your users to derive associated nonfunctional requirements, such as response time, throughput, and usability.

Tip 5: Prioritize Your Use Cases and Use Case Scenarios:

Not all use cases or use case scenarios are created equal. Some are more crucial to achieving
business goals than others, providing different levels of business value to the customer.

One approach is suggested in RUP. Called MoSCoW, this strategy prioritizes use cases based on four categories: must, should, could, won’t.
Other ranking schemes use different terms (essential, conditional, optional; high, medium, low;
urgent, desired, useful).

Tip 6: Trace Your Use Cases:

Tracing allows you to track the lifecycle of each use case from its origin to its implementation. You establish a baseline, or starting point, for each use case (and its related requirements) that your project is committed to implementing.

Tip 7: Verify Your Use Cases:

Verification determines that your requirements were correctly defined. It involves testing or
demonstrating that your use cases are correct, complete, clear, and consistent.

Do your best to get business users to participate in your reviews. In their absence,
surrogate users, such as product development managers or business-savvy developers, can role-play being end users and uncover important defects.

The author word:

I hope this post has given you practical advice for increasing your project’s success by using use cases. especially for my friends in the last year, preparing their graduating project.

Wishing all the luck for my partner Moumen, and for the rest: Paipo, Mohamed, Sohaib, Taha, Louifi, Wissem, Souad, Soussou, Nawal and the others ;-)

                                                                        Reference: from one of Ellen Gottesdiener books

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