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Use Case Methods & Writing Better Requirements Workshop
Tools and techniques to improve and speed up your requirements development process

Duration: 1-day

Target Audience: Business Analysts, Developers, Testers, Project Managers, Systems Liaison Staff, Software Quality Assurance staff

How does your organization go about gathering and identifying project requirements? How do project analysts proceed from the first step of a concept or vision and scope document to delivering a full-blown requirements document? Frequently clients provide their requirements in disorganized fragments which may include business rules, data definitions, solutions (be careful here!), user interface examples, constraints, etc. This avalanche of information must be collected and organized in a manner which helps get to the essence of the business problem and systems solution as quickly as possible.

Software requirements are the first step in project development, and form the basis on which all the subsequent work is done. Yet the individuals assigned to gathering and documenting requirements are frequently untrained in the skills which contribute to complete and correct requirements. Sadly, more than 50% of defects are traceable to poor requirements. Understanding the skill set needed to develop good requirements is vital for improving overall project results. This is especially true with the ever-increasing complexity of modern business applications. However, it can be expensive to train everyone who might be involved with requirements development, difficult to schedule team members to be away from their responsibilities for several days, or wasteful to send experienced people to full requirements training classes when they may only need exposure to a few new but important ideas.


'Use cases' became widely known through Object-Oriented methodologies in the early 90's. Yet the actual technique of documenting user scenarios has been known to successful developers for decades. Use Cases provides a structured method to elicit business requirements, and is widely used in JAD (Joint Application Development) sessions because it is both user- and task-centric. Understanding of use case documentation speeds overall requirements development, prevents defects at the earliest stages, provides traceability, supports prioritization efforts, reduces test cycle time, identifies opportunities for reuse, sets up successful outsourcing and improves quality delivery.

Module I of this workshop improves requirements documentation skills through exercises with use cases and user class types. Students will learn how to use the Use Case Methodology as a tool to drive requirements elicitation, documentation, testing, and training. We will work examples to ensure students are proficient in the methodology.


Module II of the workshop improves requirements writing skills through lecture and examples focused on both content and technique. Students will use quality checklists as tools to review and improve their requirements writing skills. The focus is on understanding the detail needed in a requirement and how to validate that the requirement has covered what it should. The course delves into practical ways to ensure that all stakeholders' interests are represented. This is an interactive workshop, which gets all class members involved, driving home the concepts in an enjoyable way, and we'll use a number of examples to ensure students are proficient in the methodology.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with software development


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