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"Patterns for Writing Effective Use Cases"
Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications
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 : Sunday Afternoon Tutorials (1:30 - 17:00) : Requirements Capture : Sunday

Patterns for Writing Effective Use Cases

Meeting Room 13
Sunday, 13:30, half day


Steve Adolph, WSA Consulting Inc:  Steve Adolph is a senior consultant with WSA Consulting Inc where he specializes in software process improvement. He has twenty years of industrial experience developing software and managing software development projects in the telecommunications, railway signaling, and graphic arts industry. An exciting and enthusiastic speaker, Mr. Adolph has spoken at numerous seminars and workshops on the topics of software project management object oriented analysis and design, and patterns. He is co-author of the book "Patterns for Writing Effective Use Cases".
Paul Bramble, AT&T Labs:  Paul Bramble is a Senior Level Software Engineer, specializing in Object-Oriented Software Development and distributed systems. He has been developing software in the telecommunication, avionics, and computer manufacturing industries for over 20 years. Paul has been using and researching use cases since 1994, and co-authored the book ?Patterns for Writing Effective Use Cases?. He has given several presentations on use cases at the industrial and university levels, including OOPSLA events.

Tutorial number: 17

Use cases are a wonderfully simple concept: describe a system's functional requirements by telling stories about how using it delivers value. However, developers quickly discover that writing effective use cases is more difficult than they had anticipated. They frequently must deal with difficult questions:

  • What should be the scope of a use case?
  • How long should it be?
  • What level of detail should it express?
  • How do we provide different levels of detail for different people?
  • Where do we put the requirements for external interfaces and stored data?
  • Why are we writing use cases?

Usually the answers to these questions begin with an unsatisfying "Well, it depends..." Developers need objective criteria to judge use case quality and effectiveness. This tutorial fills a critical information gap by presenting a pattern language that provides simple, elegant, and proven solutions to common problems in use case development. It captures the knowledge and experience of successful use case developers in a way that can be easily used by others, and provides a vocabulary describing the properties of quality use cases. These patterns facilitate the development of original use cases and provide a diagnostic tool for evaluating existing ones.

Intermediate: Attendees should either use or have prepared use cases, and be familiar with basic use case concepts.