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Which project participants benefit from Use Cases?

Posted by Chris Adams

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Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Use Cases


The full benefit of use cases are not always understood by all. Use cases provide more benefit than simply capturing functional requirements of the system, and therefore benefit more project participants than just the commonly understood project stakeholders. Here are some of the beneficiaries of use cases.
Project Stakeholders: For project stakeholders, use case models and use cases specify the functionality and interaction that a user will have with the system.  It is written in a simple to understand form so that it can be understood by even the most diagram adverse individuals. By reviewing and gaining signoff from the project stakeholders, use cases help analysts validate that the system will meet the functional requirements expected by the stakeholders and will as a contract of what will be delivered.
Developers: Use case models provide a high level overview of the system functionality to the developers. The use cases and use case scenarios add the detail required for a clear understanding of system functionality and provide a solid foundation for the developers to continue with detailed design. By completing the detailed design with the use case model as a guide, the system design remains user-centric ensuring that the final system delivers on the requirements and needs of the stakeholders.
Analysis, Development, and QA Managers: Use case models are an excellent tool for estimating the level of effort required to complete analysis, development, and testing of the application. The use case model divides the system into logical pieces that can be assigned a complexity value and then each use case can be estimated and aggregated to create a final effort estimation.
Project Managers: Use case models are a great tool for project mangers to plan and track the progress of work. Use case models become especially useful in iterative development environments where iterations are planned around the successful implementation of use cases. Use cases are often used in this way because it is easy for stakeholders to see the value of each use case, and therefore the value of each iteration of the application that has been implemented.
Integration and System Testers: Use cases and use case scenarios directly translate into test cases and test scenarios that are used to validate and verify the successful implementation of the system requirements.

Anyone Requiring System Knowledge: Any time someone needs to know what a system does, one of the best places to start is the use case model. By reviewing the use case model, anyone can gain a quick understanding of the functionality of the system. Once they find the use cases that reflect the functionality that pertains to them, they can then look at the details of each use case and gain an immediate understanding of the functionality supported.



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