Writing Effective Use Cases

The Original Course from the World’s Expert

Learn to document an organizational process or a system spec in the easiest to understand fashion from the expert who literally wrote the book.

Who Should Attend

Those tasked with documenting or reviewing a process description, whether an organizational process, or a technical system to be designed. Business people, process engineers, programmers, testers. Works best if a mix of people from business and technical design are included.


This course provides attendees with both theory and practice in writing use cases for the requirements of a system to be designed. People will work through sequenced exercises in small groups, discussing the results with the class at large.

In each section of the course, a concept gets introduced, the groups do an exercise and discuss, and the entire room discusses their results. In this way, each person gets to participate in both exercises and discussions.

Several different domains will be used for exercises, for different degrees of difficulty. For each exercise, we shall write, then peer review the writing, and discuss the issues that came up in the writing. There are many aspects of writing use cases in a consistent way that bedevil the writer, and many ways of dealing with those difficulties. Each person will have a chance to develop their own preferences.

Course goals for attendees:

• Able to describe to others what a use case is, is good for, and ways of writing them.

• Able to collect and organize information about the users' goals for the system, and to draft the functional requirements for a system.

• Knowing the limitations of use case requirements, as well as alternative writing forms.

Part of the Heart of Agile sequence, this is a working class, there are no slides to sleep through, only illustrations of good work, exercises activities, and reflective discussions of how to improve.

About the Trainers

Dr. Alistair Cockburn

One of the original authors of the Agile Manifesto. Voted in "The All-Time Top 150 i-Technology Heroes" for his work in Use Cases and Agile Software Development

Dr. Cockburn is an internationally renowned strategist, author of the award-winning Agile Software Development, and Writing Effective Use Cases. He co-authored the Agile Manifesto, the Declaration of Interdepen-dence, the Agile Project Leadership Network and the International Consortium for Agile.

Dr. Cockburn is an expert on organizational psychology, agile development, development processes, use cases, project management, and object-oriented programming.

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