The Benefits of Use Cases


Why the intense focus on use cases? That's a fair question. The benefits of use cases include the following.

  • Compared to traditional requirement methods , use cases are relatively easy to write and easier to read.

  • Use cases force developers to think through the design of a system from the perspective of a user .

  • Use cases engage the users in the requirements process, helping them understand the system that is being proposed and giving them a way to communicate and document their needs.

  • Use cases give context for the requirements of the system. One can understand why a requirement is what it is as well as how the system meets its objectives.

  • Use cases provide an ordering mechanism for requirements; one can tell what has to happen before the next thing happens, and so on.

  • In most circumstances, developers write the use cases. That means not only that there actually are understood requirements but also that the developers know they are responsible for determining them.

  • Use cases are a critical tool in the analysis process, helping us understand what the system needs to do and how it might go about doing it.

  • Use cases are a critical tool in the design and implementation process, reducing the risk of transitioning from an expression of requirements to a differing implementation (Chapter 25).

  • Use cases carry over directly into the testing process, helping to assure that the system actually does what it was intended to do (Chapter 26).

  • Use cases serve as inputs to the user documentation, conveniently organized in a step-by-step format.

Use cases simply tell a better requirements story. Use them.


Yes, it's a pretty long list of benefits, yet not an exhaustive one. Simply put, use cases tell a better requirements story ” a story that can be better understood by the prospective users who use the system, the developers who write and implement the use cases, the testers who use them as a basis for testing, and the documentation team members who develop the user guides and online help. No, you don't have to develop use cases; traditional forms of requirements specifications still work. But isn't your job hard enough already?


Managing Software Requirements[c] A Use Case Approach
Managing Software Requirements[c] A Use Case Approach
ISBN: 032112247X
Year: 2003
Pages: 257 © 2008-2017.
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