Use Cases: Requirements in Context

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9780201657678: Use Cases: Requirements in Context

Software developers are increasingly recognizing the value of careful up-front requirements gathering in enhanced efficiency and reduced software defects. The best way to gather requirements accurately and precisely is with use cases and UML -- and this book walks you through the entire process, step-by-step. Both an excellent tutorial and a handy reference, Use Cases: Requirements in Context begins with a detailed overview of requirements gathering, its key challenges, and why traditional approaches often fail. Next, understand the key concepts underlying use cases; use case diagrams and scenarios; relationships and interactions; and the role of use cases in each major type of software development project. Review the four steps of the requirements gathering process, from problem statement through prototype; then walk through each iteration of the use case, step-by-step. The book includes insightful coverage of managing the requirements gathering process, building teams, and assuring quality -- plus a full chapter on the classic mistakes made in requirements gathering, and how to avoid them. For all systems analysts, project managers, and software engineers.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap:

Use Cases: Requirements in Context came about, as most books probably

do, as the result of a complaint. We felt that there weren't any good books

that addressed use cases for requirements gathering. It seemed that a lot of

people agreed that use cases were a perfectly good tool to solve the requirements

problem, but no one had put down on paper any detailed process to help people

understand how to use them this way. In fact, even as we write today, in late

1999, there is no book of this sort that we know of.

Requirements gathering has been a problem on almost every project we've been

involved with. The fuzzy nature of requirements makes working with them slippery

and unintuitive for most software analysts. Use cases are the first tool we've

seen that addresses the specification and communication concerns usually associated

with requirements gathering.

Although use cases in themselves are quite intuitive, the process around them

is often done poorly. The questions that people have--How many iterations do

I do? How fine-grained should a use case be?--are not answered or even addressed

in most texts. This is probably because they are hard questions and the answers

can vary greatly from one situation to another. However, they are important

questions, and we decided to describe our own best practices as a first volley

in what we hope will become a spirited industry dialog on how to generate requirements

that will address user needs.

Use Cases: Requirements in Context is a practical book for the everyday

practitioner. As consultants in the information technology industry, we employ

use cases to specify business systems as part of our daily lives. We think we

understand the issues facing people when they deliver software using tools such

as the Unified Modeling Language and use cases. Our main intent is not to describe

use case notation, although we do address that. Instead, we show a requirements

process that addresses requirements gathering in a way that produces quality

results.

While writing, we considered the factors that cause problems in requirements

gathering, and we developed a use case method for delivering a requirements-oriented

set of deliverables. The methodology breaks down the activity of producing requirements

into a series of steps, and it answers the questions that usually come up when

people employ use cases. This book relates directly to the real work of delivering

a specification, managing that effort with a team, and getting the most bang

for your buck.

The sample use cases and use case diagrams that appear throughout the book

are also presented in Appendixes B and C. These appendixes demonstrate the development

of the use cases and other requirements analysis artifacts through each phase

of their development. Appendix B documents a business system for real estate,

and Appendix C documents a business system for the garment industry.

We hope you enjoy this book. It was a labor of love for us. This is a process

that works well for us. If it works for you, too, that's great. If it doesn't,

perhaps you can adapt some of the tools, ideas, or suggestions to your own way

of addressing the requirements problem.

0201657678P04062001

From the Back Cover:


* Reduce the incidence of duplicate and inconsistent requirements;
* Communicate requirements that are understandable to both users and developers;
* Communicate a vision of what the application needs to do without the distractions inherent in a coded prototype;
* Document the entire requirements process clearly and efficiently.

Use Cases: Requirements in Context first examines the difficulties of requirements gathering and briefly introduces both use cases and the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Using detailed examples that run through the book, it then elaborates a four-step method for establishing requirements--an iterative process that produces increasingly refined requirements. Drawing on their own extensive experience, the authors offer practical advice on how to manage this process, including guidance on planning, scheduling, and estimating. They also dedicate an entire chapter to the common mistakes made during requirements capture and specification, particularly those related to use case creation.

This detailed, hands-on book shows you how to:


* Describe the context of relationships and interactions between actors and applications using use case diagrams and scenarios;
* Specify functional and non-functional requirements;
* Create the candidate use case list;
* Break out detailed use cases and add detail to use case diagrams;
* Add triggers, preconditions, basic course of events, and exceptions to use cases.

Other tools examined in this book include the stakeholder interview, use case name filters, the context matrix, user interface requirements, team organization, and quality assurance. 0201657678B04062001

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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