Sunday, Full Day
Writing Effective Use Cases
Convention Ctr – 101A
Alistair Cockburn, Humans and Technology

This tutorial shows how use cases can be written, cross-connected, and managed. There will be no presentation slides in this tutorial. We shall discuss, write, examine, and consider the results, using continuous group exercises and discussions. This format will allow us to develop some facility with the underlying concepts, and work at different levels of precision, prior to writing use cases at different levels. Expect to encounter differences in writing styles and to discover that use cases are trickier to write than they seem. Learn the degrees of variation that still permit use cases to be effective. Topics will include: usage narratives, system scope, actors, goal levels, the new stakeholders and interests model underlying use cases, scenarios, failure detection and handling, connecting use cases, and of course, dealing with UML.

The objective is to give attendees the theory and practice needed to write use cases effectively. At least 2/3 of the course time is spent writing and discussing.

Presentation Format: Lecture, writing exercises, group discussion.

Attendee Background: Anyone who is faced with gathering behavioral requirements for a software system, or for business process modeling. Typically from an IT department, but possibly from the human factors group, marketing department, or a user community.

Alistair Cockburn, founder of Humans and Technology, was special advisor to the Central Bank of Norway and designed the OO methodology for the IBM Consulting Group in the mid-1990s. His “Surviving OO Projects” was published in 1998. He is an expert on use cases, object-oriented design, project management, and software methodologies. He has been the technical design coach and process consultant on projects ranging in size from 3 to 90 people. Materials that support Alistair’s workshops and tutorials can be found at

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