Sunday Morning, Half Day
Introduction to Writing Use Cases
Marriott Hotel — Florida Salon V
Alistair Cockburn, Humans and Technology

A use case is a way of describing the required behavior of a system, centered around what the system offers its users. Use cases are easy to read, and simple in concept, but surprisingly tricky to write. This tutorial is for the beginning use case writer, to see what a use case looks like, the basics of how to write one, and how to organize people to write, review and use them. The tutorial will be part lecture, and part hands-on exercises. Attendees will brainstorm a list of use cases for a system, write a main scenario, and uncover failure scenarios. The exercises are designed to allow the attendees to practice the writing skills, and discover where use cases get difficult. At the end of the tutorial, the attendee will have the basic vocabulary of use cases, will have seen examples of good and bad ones, and will have experienced the variations in writing that will show up in real use cases.

Attendee Background: This tutorial is for people just beginning to write or consider use cases. No particular background is required.

Presenter: Alistair Cockburn is a highly regarded instructor and is known as one of the premier experts on use cases. His book, Writing Effective Use Cases, set the standard in the area and was nominated for Software Development’s Jolt book award in 2001. Alistair has taught use case writing since 1994, and has also acted as consultant on project management, object-oriented design, and methodology to the Central Bank of Norway, the IBM Consulting Group, and the First Rand Bank of South Africa. Materials that support his workshops can be found at, and

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