Writing Effective Use Cases

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Use cases have never been this easy to understand — or this easy to create! In Writing Effective Use Cases, Alistair Cockburn offers a hands-on, soup-to-nuts guide to use case development, based on the proven concepts he has refined through years of research, development, and seminar presentations. Cockburn begins by answering the most basic questions facing anyone interested in use cases: "What does a use case look like? When do I write one?" Next, he introduces each key element of use cases: actors, stakeholders, design scope, goal levels, scenarios, and more. Writing Effective Use Cases contains detailed guidelines, formats, and project standards for creating use cases — as well as a detailed chapter on style, containing specific do's and don'ts. Cockburn shows how use cases fit together with requirements gathering, business processing reengineering, and other key issues facing software professionals. The book includes practice exercises with solutions, as well as a detailed appendix on how to use these techniques with UML. For all application developers, object technology practitioners, software system designers, architects, and analysts.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (October 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201702258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201702255
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Customer Reviews

Distills the core idea behind use cases

One person found this helpful.
 on May 18, 2009
By Crash
Having tried ‘Use Cases: Requirements in Context’ and ‘Managing Software Requirements: A Use Case Approach’ I can tell you this is the book to really understand what’s the whole point of Use Cases.

What’s old is new again …

2 people found this helpful.
 on January 25, 2016
By Richard Grove
Brilliant. Use Cases have been around FOREVER but their value in non-Agile software development cannot be ignored. Alistair is most familiar for authoring the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (with others) so he knows a thing or two about tweezing the details out of users.

Always learning new ideas

 on July 24, 2017
By Kevin P
Was directed in a Business Analyst Bootcamp to utilize this book for Use cases. Great resource to keep on hand.

Book was in good condition as described.

 on September 25, 2017
Book was in good condition.

This Book Will Help

22 people found this helpful.
 on June 20, 2004
By R. Carpenter
I had never heard of Use Cases until taking a class in Systems Analysis and Development. So I went to Amazon and did a search for books on Use Cases and saw that this one was rated quite high. I believe I read all the customer reviews. I don’t understand how most everyone can give a 5 star rating and one person gives it a 1 star rating.

Bring Your Whole Family Into The Requirements Process

19 people found this helpful.
 on February 8, 2002
By David Gurgel
Suppose you have a team of new people, quite technical, but none practiced in developing software requirements. You need something to formalize the process. Somewhat bewildered by all of the UML and other modeling methods that are available, you decide that use cases are easy to understand, the methodology quite easily learned and particularly applicable to the workflow application that you have to design. You’ve got the Jacobson early books but need something that you can hand out and say, “This is our standard for use cases. We start next week on getting our software requirements done formally.”

The Field Manual for Use Cases From the Agile Master

One person found this helpful.
 on May 11, 2015
By Andy Burns
Alistair is one of the key voices in agility and in common sense requirements collection and documentation. I find this book to be the field manual for Use Cases and strongly recommend it to anyone interested in project management, business analysis or software development.

excellent no-nonsense book.

 on April 20, 2016
By Sid
I bought this since it has been some years since I last created use cases, this was a great refresher for me, and I bought a second copy for my employees who were doing this for the first time. One of the first tech books I’ve read cover to cover in a long time. (well, almost cover to cover, but close enough).

Four Stars

 on June 14, 2017
By Patricia L. Waugh
A little beyond my skill set, but it is helpful for a more experienced requirements writer.

Seminal work in the field

3 people found this helpful.
 on April 9, 2010
By David Moskowitz
This is the best book on writing uses case that I know about. While this was a recent purchase, perhaps the best recommendation I can offer, is that it’s not the first time I’ve bought Cockburn’s book. I keep lending it to people who decided they’d rather buy me a new copy than return the one I lent them. All told since the first time I purchased this book, nearly 9 years ago, this has to be at least the hundredth copy I’ve purchased since the book was originally published.

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