|RE: [epf-dev] Looking for Use Case Templates & Examples|
After a week of living the perfect storm, I’m back with the living and sifting through a very large e-mail backlog.
This e-mail caught my eye because Paul Bramble, Alistair Cockburn, Andy Pols and myself wrote “Patterns for Effective Use Cases” which contains numerous example use cases written at different levels of details. Some of the examples may be helpful here.
epf-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:epf-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Nate Oster
I provided some feedback and change-tracked changes to the Word template, mostly to simplify it and reduce the opportunity for bad practices by analysts who are new to use cases (https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=167924 ).
The excel-based approach doesn’t seem like a very “elegant” solution to the valid problem of shallow requirements management skillsets that you pointed out ( I commented here https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=168275 ). It also seems to violate the “use simplest tools” philosophy. Excel is more difficult to version control, since it has no merge capability. It lacks “the power of plain text.”
For a lot of new adopters, the paradigm shift isn’t having use cases. Lots of big lumbering projects with three binders of “the system shall blah blah” requirements also have “use cases,” but they treat them as a kind of afterthought. The UP paradigm shift is doing use case-based requirements, where the use cases are the primary way that we express the functional intent we have for the solution. Treating use cases this way is essential to enabling iterative development, because you can incrementally refine a use case over time a lot easier than thousands of disjointed “system shall” statements.
So I’d suggest we point adopters in the right direction with a series of use case examples at various levels of specification. For example, we might have a use case that’s just “identified,” then one with just the basic flow and a few special requirements, and finally a fully-specified example. The purpose is to demonstrate how you can incrementally refine the intent of the system based on immediate goals. A classic example is Craig Larman’s “next-generation POS system” in Applying UML and Patterns. Maybe he’d open-source the examples?
epf-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:epf-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
We’ve been discussing how we can make writing use cases easier for a wider range of practitioners, e.g. experienced analysts, developers using use cases for the first time, old-timers who are used to decomposing their requirements, etc. We think that offering a variety of use case templates will help us in this endeavor, as long as we can describe the best circumstances in which to use each template.
If you have any use case templates that have been useful for you, please consider contributing them to OpenUP/Basic. Attach any templates you’d like to contribute as a reply to this email and we’ll consider them at the February F2F meeting this Thurs/Fri.
Examples of the two templates we’re currently considering are attached to the following bugzillas: