Copyright 2007 Isotope28

Purpose

Steps

Heuristics

Artifacts

   The use case descriptions provide the textual requirements for the behaviors of the product. The descriptions provide the details for each behavior, including the pre-conditions, the workflow, and the results of the use case.

  1. 1. Create a document for each use case in the use case diagram (MS Word Template.)

  2. 2. Provide a name in the table, exactly matching the name (and number) in the use case diagram.

  3. 3. Consider the conditions that must be true (preconditions) for this use case to be valid.

  4. 4. Capture the preconditions in the table.

  5. 5. Consider the workflow of the use case. Describe each activity in the workflow, using the sentence form of “who does what to whom.” The use of this form will help identify the participants in the workflow and minimize the ambiguity of role and responsibilities.

  6. 6. Identify the results of the use case and capture in the results section of the template. Note that there may be more than one result.

  7. 7. Consider variations on the normal workflow, and capture them in the variant section of the template. Note that variants in the normal workflow still accomplish the results as described.

  8. 8. Consider exceptions that might occur in the workflow which would cause the results to NOT be achieved.

  1. Ensure that your workflow is one complete flow through the system from start to finish and accomplishes a measurable goal for the user.

  2. Verify that your sequence of activities in the workflow is expressed in the form of “who does what to whom.”

  3. If your workflow is a portion of another workflow, consider refactoring your use cases to integrate the two partial use cases into one complete flow.

  4. Abstract use cases may not require textual descriptions, but each “leaf” use case in the use case model tree must have a description. (see Abstractive decomposition)

  5. The workflow description must include the behaviors of the product / system as well as those of the participants.

  6. Ensure that workflow identifies the artifacts and consumables of the workflow as participants.

  7. Verify that the workflow is written in terms of the problem domain only, and does not reference technology related to the eventual solution. Note that existing (legacy) solutions are part of the problem domain and may be referenced as such!)

  8. Consider your workflow in terms of a completely manual solution space. For example, how would the workflow be described with a room full of willing people, and reams of paper, and filing drawers, cabinets and manila folders?

  9. If the problem domain is not common, consider describing your use case in terms of a more common metaphor to facilitate communication to others.

Use Case Descriptions (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3)