Approach - Simple
Home Business Change Analysis & Design Agile Testing Templates About us

Problem Statement
What are they
Simple
Medium
Mature
Conclusion

Use cases can be further elaborated in many ways, depending on the maturity and level of completeness required. The following section outlines these techniques, in increasing order of complexity and maturity.

Option A. Use Action Definition

Purpose: To ensure that any information relating to static elements is specified as part of the use case, and elaborated in the action definition section part of the template.

: Example of flow description

5.    System establishes Contextual Information associated with the log on.

 (Action Definition: Contextual Information)

 

Example showing the italicised terms are described, with their own section heading

1.1.4. Action Definition

Contextual Information

In authentication, the context must show:

(1)      Location of access (terminal/IP)

(2)      Time of access in GMT established from trusted time source (but translated into local time based on that location)

This can be seen as a fulfilling the role of glossary and specification (which at this level is somewhat synonymous)

Advantages

bulletSimple
bulletEnables use case to be self contained reviewable item
bulletPlain English deters design, and promotes reviewability
bulletEmbedded nature reduces disjoin of static artefacts to the dynamic flow

Disadvantages

bulletRequirements can easily become obsolete and out of synch
bulletReduced visibility of requirements
bulletReuse difficult: same requirement may be described differently in two places

Option B. Formalised, centrally managed requirement

Purpose: To ensure that any information relating to static elements is specified within a centrally managed requirements database, and explicitly referenced from the appropriate step. In addition, the requirement is traced to the use case, from this centrally managed place.

Textual requirements are maintained in a central, controlled place, preferably using a requirements management tool. In presentation, a report displays all these artefacts using macros, directly after the action definition section.

These static requirements can be managed as uniquely identified RULES within this store. This is in conformity with their definition in RUP. Whilst a business rule is often thought to describe business logic, it can equally describe informational requirements[1], as well as expected values.

Extending previous example to become

6.    System establishes Contextual Information associated with the log on.

(RULE 12 Contextual Information)

The related RULE defined in central requirements tool

RULE 12 Contextual Information

In authentication, the context must show:

(1)      Location of access (terminal/IP)

(2)      Time of access in GMT established from trusted time source (but translated into local time based on that location)

Advantages

bulletSimple, yet formalised
bulletVisible, can be reported on in from requirements management tool
bulletPlain English deters design, and promotes reviewability
bulletEmbedded reports can reduces disjoin of static artefacts to the dynamic flow

Disadvantages

bulletDifficult to analyse.
bulletWordy nature makes them difficult to keep at consistent level, and must be therefore actively policed.

 Back Next

[1] In fact these can be rephrased as business logic. For example a valid order comprises of X, Y and Z

2002-2005 Codel Services Ltd

This paper has been prepared by Codel Services Ltd to illustrate how structured business modelling can help your organisation. Codel Services Ltd is an IT Consultancy specialising in business modelling. If you would like further information, please contact us at: Deryck Brailsford, Codel Services Ltd, Dale Hill Cottage, Kirby-Le-Soken, Essex CO13 0EN,United Kingdom. Telephone: +44 (0)1255 862354/Mobile: + 44 (0)7710 435227/e-mail: info@codel-services.com