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TOPIC: Are Use Cases Requirements or Design

02 Nov 2010 08:18 Are Use Cases Requirements or Design #8

Can Use Cases be considered as being requirements in their own right or are they design artifacts used to help discover and create separate requirement statements? Use Cases don't satisfy the traditional characteristics of what constitutes good quality requirements so do these characteristics need to change or are people heading down the wrong track trying to manage Use Cases like requirements. What are the views of members on this?

02 Dec 2010 14:41 Re: Are Use Cases Requirements or Design #18

Paul, in my opinion, your alternative in the opening sentence is closer to the mark. Use Cases are one (of several) methods for identifying requirements and also for giving consideration to how these requirements might be verified. From Section 4.3 (Design) in EIA-632, the specified requirements take the form of specifications, drawings, models, or other design documents, depending on design maturity. These are used to: 1) build, code, assemble and integrate end products; 2) verify end products against; 3) obtain off-the-shelf products; or 4) assign to a supplier for development of subsystem products. Use Cases are not used directly for any of these four purposes, so cannot be classed as requirements. That said, it is important that the requirements management system includes a repository for use cases and enables traceability linkages between use case statements and requirements, and between use cases and test procedures.

20 Dec 2010 09:28 Re: Are Use Cases Requirements or Design #23

Roger, I disagree.
Use Cases are both Design and Requirements (depending on where you sit). The Use Case is a requirement as it almost the only document on which a user interface is based. The use case is drawn up by the systems design team, in consultation with the users, and forms the design of the UI, which is then implemented by the coding team, and used by the system design team to determine if the coding team have done what was asked.

19 Jan 2011 10:49 Re: Are Use Cases Requirements or Design #24

Hi all,

Perhaps they are Analysis artefacts (neither requirements nor design), used for understanding the system, as a foundation for gleaning what the requirements are.

21 Nov 2011 13:14 Re: Are Use Cases Requirements or Design #53

In my organisation use cases are used by our software requirements people as essentially an internal requirements model. Our clients generally give us requirements as a series of 'shall' statements (or some reasonably poorly written scope of works by a concrete-head (i.e. civil engineer )).

We then create use cases, as well as other artefacts such as object models, to understand how the clients requirements translate into modifications/enhancements to our product(s). The developers then do their own design, which theoretically follows the software requirements (although they often just do what ever they want - they are developers after all). Our software testers usually test against the software requirements as expressed through the use cases/etc.

I see use cases as useful models, especially for workflow type functionality.

02 Jan 2012 12:16 Re: Are Use Cases Requirements or Design #56

I usually associate use cases more with test cases than with the requirements.
The requirements describe the "what", while the use cases describe the "how".
The use case describes how the system has been designed to satisfy the requirement.

The test case, which demonstrates "how" the requirement is satisfied, should map very closely to the associated use case(s).
Validators love to see use cases in the system design, since this makes the preparation of test cases unambiguous and simple.
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