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Use Case Modeling

Use cases provide a structured, industry-standard way of eliciting and documenting functional interaction requirements.  The process enhances communication between business analysts and business customers, and lays the foundation for user interface design and test case development.  They also provide insights into data requirements, and help clients articulate their needs in ways other requirements activities can’t.

This course provides the right blend of knowledge and skills for people to understand and model use cases effectively.  Attendees will learn where use cases are most effective, a step-by-step method for creating them, and numerous guidelines and tips to enhance creating them.  Participants also receive a comprehensive Use Case template that can be readily used back on the job.  For onsite presentation, a company’s own template is easily incorporated into the course.

Learning Objectives

  • Define the major components of use case models using the Unified Modeling Language (UML):

    • Use case diagram

    • Actors

    • Use case narratives

    • Interfaces

    • Use case flow of events

  • Develop a use case diagram to communicate the system scope.

  • Describe use cases, using a narrative flow of events.

  • Develop primary path scenarios to describe the routine processing.

  • Document alternate and exception paths for different scenarios.

  • Develop Activity Diagrams to chart the scenarios of a use case.

  • Diagram generalization, extend, and include relationships.

  • Leverage use cases to quickly create test cases.

  • Develop user interfaces from use cases, and uncover hidden requirements.

  • Create Class Diagrams from use cases to jump-start data requirements.

Who should attend


Experience related to business analysis, software development or testing is highly recommended.

Format and Material

To help assimilate the tools and techniques learned, there is a mixture of individual and team exercises throughout the course.  A lively role-play and case study help reinforce concepts learned.  Students will need to be prepared for a high level of participation.  Each participant will receive a comprehensive student guide complete with examples, workshop solutions, and a comprehensive Use Case template.

Duration: 2 Full days or 4 half days

Course Contents

Use Case Modeling Overview

  • Business context for use cases

  • Benefits of use case modeling

  • Use case definitions, elements, and components

  • Levels of use cases and a framework for developing them

  • Use case pitfalls to avoid and tips for avoiding them

Use Case Diagrams

  • Use case diagram steps

  • Defining the system/problem domain

  • Finding actors and use cases

  • Using an actor checklist to help find actors

  • Tips for finding use cases

  • Interfaces between actors and use cases

  • Use case diagram examples

  • Use Case Packages and their use

  • Case study and Use Case diagram workshop

Narrative Flows of Events

  • Flows of events and their purpose: primary, alternate, and exception paths

  • Use case scope: pre-and post-conditions

  • Scenarios and their purpose

  • Methods for documenting primary flows

  • Documenting alternate and exception flows

  • Documenting scenarios

  • Narrative flow examples

  • Tips for analyzing and documenting flows

  • Use case flow of events workshop

Use Cases, Test Cases, and User Interfaces

  • Relationship between use cases and test cases/scenarios

  • Translating use cases into test cases

  • How use cases lead to user interfaces and other hidden requirements

  • Use cases and user interfaces/prototyping

  • Prototyping roles, preparation, and execution

  • Prototyping workshop

Use Cases and Class Diagrams

  • UML notation

  • Class and object relationships

  • Extracting classes from use cases

  • Verifying a class: attributes, operations, and associations/multiplicity

  • Packaging and generalizing classes

  • Class/data workshop

Activity Diagrams

  • Discussion: What is an Activity Diagram?

  • Activity Diagrams

    • Purpose

    • UML notation and terminology

    • Advantages of this modeling technique

  • Exercise: diagramming the primary path

  • Decision diamonds and guard conditions

  • Looping in Use Cases

  • Exercise: diagramming alternate paths

  • Workshop

Use Case Relationships

  • UML notation

  • Include relationship and example

  • Referring to includes in flows

  • Extend relationship and example

  • Referring to extends in flows

  • Generalization relationship and example

  • Relationship workshop

Documenting Use Cases

  • Use case documentation components

  • Documentation template

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