Writing and Working with Lean Use Cases

Supercharge Collaboration by Leveraging the Power of Use Cases to Enhance Communication in Lean and Agile Software Development Environments

Classroom Live ONSITE – Duration: 2 days (14 PDU/CDU)
Classroom Live ONLINE – Duration: 2-5 days (14 PDU/CDU)
Public Schedule

Some of this content is also available in our eCourses, Books, and FREE KnowledgeKnuggets™

Course Overview

Use Cases Define Interaction between People and Technology

A Use Case describes what a piece of software does or needs to do. As a business user of IT solutions, a Use Case enables you to talk to technologists about your IT business needs in a manner they can understand. As a technical professional, a Use Case enables you to talk about technology to the business community without using technical jargon.

Use Cases are a commonly used business analysis technique to define the interactions between people and technology. They are the de facto standard for documenting and communicating functional requirements. Applying the lean philosophy of waste reduction to the Use Case concept creates a powerful tool for communication to and within an Lean or Agile Software Development team.

Writing a Lean Use Case is a skill that anyone in an organization can easily acquire. Learning how to write and manage lean business- and solution-level use cases is a major step in getting your IT applications to do what you want them to do. Knowing why you need a Lean Use Case, when to create one (especially in a lean environment), and where to put what information is critical to creating high-quality functional requirements.

What You Will Learn in this Workshop

This 2-day exercise and example-rich business analysis training course explains the who, what, when, where, how and why of Lean Use Case models. You will learn where use case diagrams fit in the overall process of traditional and lean software development. To easily discover Use Cases, we include a section on event-response analysis to identify use case triggers. This section can be extended to include an additional day on learning how to create activity diagrams for visually representing the internal flow of control within a Lean Use Case.

After finishing this course, you will be able to write high-quality Use Cases defining actors, preconditions, postconditions, main paths, alternate paths, and exception paths. In addition, you will learn how to deal with non-functional requirements.

You can get a taste of Use Cases in our FREE KnowledgeKnugget What Is a Use Case

Tailored Business Analysis Training
We Tailor the Content to Fit Your Needs

At no cost to you, we can assemble an optimal set of training topics based on your group’s current and desired business analysis skill levels. We can also use our Business Analysis Skills Evaluation (BASE) tool to establish these levels. 

or call 702-625-0146

Target Audience

  • Product Owners
  • Business Analysts
  • Requirements Engineers
  • Business- and Customer-side Team Members
  • Agile Team Members
  • Subject Matter Experts (SME)
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Systems Analysts and Designers
  • AND “anyone wearing the business analysis hat”, meaning anyone responsible for defining a future IT solution

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this skill-building experience, you can:

  • Define and defend the need for Lean Use Cases
  • Integrate Lean Use Cases and User Stories to express detailed, solution-level requirements
  • Apply Business Event Analysis to discover Lean Use Cases based on business activities
  • Document user interaction in Lean Use Cases descriptions and diagrams
  • Describe the major components of a Lean Use Case
  • Analyze business scenarios to discover Lean Use Cases
  • Determine how to handle alternate and exception situations
  • Associate non-functional requirements to Lean Use Case paths and steps
  • Develop business-facing acceptance tests that support automated testing, Acceptance-Test Driven Development (ATDD), and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)
  • Plan to incorporate selected techniques to improve performance on the job

Detailed Course Outline

1 Overview of Lean Use Cases

  • Lean and Agile: Philosophies that Make Sense
  • Lean Requirements Defined
  • What is a Use Case?
  • Use Case vs User Story
  • The Value of Lean Use Cases

2 Finding and Defining Lean Use Cases

  • Of Business Events and Use Cases
  • Business Events
  • From Business Events to Use Cases
  • The Role of Actors
  • Finding and Naming Actors
  • Primary and Secondary Actors
  • The Use Case Brief

3 Lean Use Cases in Diagrams

  • Lean Use Case Models
  • Representing the Actor
  • Use Case Diagram Conventions
  • Comparing Include and Extend Relationships
  • Additional Use Case Details
  • Summary of Extensions and Inclusions

4 The Power of the Standard (Happy) Path

  • A Simple Use Case Specification
  • The Use Case Path: The Road Most Travelled
  • Pre-conditions (Before the Beginning)
  • Post-conditions (When All Is Said and Done)
  • Exercise: Process Order Standard Path

5 The Real Value in Lean Use Cases

  • The Proper Procedure for Dealing with “Ifs”
  • Developing Alternative Paths
  • Capturing Exception Paths
  • Using Scenarios: A Bottom-Up Approach
  • Slicing a Use Case for Agile Development

6 Levels of Detail in Lean Use Cases

  • Different Use Cases for Different Decisions
  • Business Use Cases
  • Solution Use Cases
  • System Use Cases
  • Solution versus System Use Cases
  • Detailed System Use Case
  • Summary

7 The Role of Non-Functional Requirements

  • What Measures Add Value to a Use Case?
  • Keys to Success
  • Who Handles the Non-Functional Dimension?
  • Use Cases in Context
  • User Views and Use Cases
  • Data and Use Cases

8 From Showtime to Go Time!

  • Understanding the Learning Curve
  • Exercise: My Techniques
  • My Personal Implementation Plan