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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

What type of information should be documented in a use case specification?

Posted by MostafaElbarbary

Article Rating // 6370 Views // 2 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Use Cases

ANSWER

While use cases are included in the Object Management Group’s UML® Specification, the UML specification does not define the form or content that should be included in a use case specification.  For this reason, there is no single standard.  Precisely what information should be included varies based the source you reference.  Nevertheless, most methodologies and authors show a significant degree of agreement regarding the information that should be included in a use case specification.

 

The most popular use case specification template is probably the Rational Unified Process Template.  It includes the following information.

  • Use Case Name
  • Brief Description
  • Actors
  • Triggers
  • Flow of Events
    • Basic Flow
    • Alternative Flows
  • Special Requirements
  • Pre-Conditions
  • Post-Conditions
  • Extension Points

In his book, Writing Effective Use Cases, Alistair Cockburn (2001) shows several examples of use case specifications, most of which include the following information:

 

  • Context of Use
  • Scope
  • Level
  • Primary Actor
  • Stakerholders and Interests
  • Preconditions
  • Minimal Guarantees
  • Success Guarantees
  • Trigger
  • Main Success Scenario
  • Extensions
  • Technology and Data Variations list
  • Special Requirements

Additionally, Scott Ambler (2004) offers a simplified template in The Object Primer that includes the following information:

  • Name
  • Identifier
  • Description
  • Goal
  • Pre-conditions
  • Post-conditions
  • Basic course of action
  • Alternative course of action

References:

 

Cockburn, Alistair. 2001. Writing Effective Use Cases. Addison-Wesley Professional.

 

Ambler, Scott W. 2004 The Object Primer: Agile Model-Driven Development with UML 2.0 (Third Edition). Cambridge University Press.

 

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ADDITIONAL ANSWERS / COMMENTS

srikanth posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 12:03 PM
Use case Name,
Version,
Goal,
Summary,
Actors,
Pre-Conditions,
Triggers,
Basic course of events,
Alternative Paths (ex: like an Activity diagram can give basic path and alternate path)
Post Conditions,
Business Rules,
Notes,
Author and Date.
srikanth
analyst1 posted on Thursday, January 13, 2011 3:51 PM
1. Use Case Name
2. Use case number
3. Version
4. Goal
5. Summary
6. Actors
7. Stakeholders
8. Preconditions
9. Triggers
10. Basic course of events
11. Alternate path or exceptions
12. Post conditions
13. Business rules
14. Notes
15. Author and date


analyst1
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.

 



 




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