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49107Re: [scrumdevelopment] Use Cases?

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  • Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach, CSM, PSM I
    Nov 3, 2010
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      Sakendrick,

      I concur mostly with Goerge.  I was a RUP Use Case guy before I became a User Story guy.

      > Do use cases have a place in scrum?
      Both Use Cases and User Stories are compatible with Scrum.  Scrum does not dictate one or the other, though the Scrum Guide implies that most Scrum teams use US's while some teams that need 'mission/life critical certainty in behavior' use UC's.

      I generally advise new Scrum Teams to use whatever req practice they did before for the first few months of their transition to Scrum.  Learning Scrum is hard enough without having to learn a whole new req gathering process.
      I generally advise intermediate to advanced Scrum teams to move to User Stories unless they have that mission/life critical aspect that makes them feel more comfortable with UC's or something else.

      > My intuition is that if a user
      story is written correctly, that should be enough to drive discussion and collaboration, and enough for the development of test cases. But is there a void
      > between user stories and test cases that requires use
      cases since the user story only focuses on the "what"?
      I think what you are missing here is that "test cases", or the User Story equivalent: Acceptance Tests, *are part of a User Story* and as such, they are a reflection of the decisions made in the discussion and collaboration you speak of.  Without Acceptance Tests, IMO, you have a huge void.

      Read about Acceptance Tests in Mike Cohn's book on User Stories (_User Stories Applied_).  There's a whole chapter on Acceptance Tests and how to turn those into automated tests.

      Rough quote from the book:

      A user story describes functionality that will be valuable to a stakeholder of a system or software. User stories are composed of three aspects:
      • A written description of the story used for planning and as a reminder

      • Conversations about the story that serve to flesh out the details of the story

      • Acceptance tests that convey and document details and that can be used to determine when a story is complete

      Don't wait until you're in a sprint to detail the acceptance tests at least at the conceptual level.  Do it *as* you are having the conversations, just enough, just in time.   Some people call this time backlog grooming (and there are many other names for it).  I wrote more about that here:
      http://scrumcrazy.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/sprintpreview/

      (You might also google for Ron Jeffries' description of the 3 C's)

      Charles



      From: George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, November 2, 2010 10:01:42 PM
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Use Cases?

       

      Hi, Sakendrick,

      On 11/2/10 10:32 PM, sakendrick wrote:
      > Do use cases have a place in scrum? My intuition is that if a user
      > story is written correctly, that should be enough to drive discussion
      > and collaboration, and enough for the development of test cases. But
      > is there a void between user stories and test cases that requires use
      > cases since the user story only focuses on the "what"?

      If you're /good/ at use cases (and my experience is most places aren't),
      then I seen no reason why you can't continue to use them. Use cases can
      be helpful in making sure that you've covered all the important flows.
      They can also be terribly confusing to business people (and sometimes to
      technical people, too).

      You'll still want to come up with test cases that cover all the flows of
      the use case, and often covering just a part of a flow. These can be
      bundled in small groups (1 to 3 might be a good number) and used as the
      acceptance criteria for stories.

      > Curious what people are practicing... I've read several articles with
      > mixed opinions on this - some state that user story and use cases are
      > just different methods of communicating requirements or expectations
      > (use one or the other), where as other say they are different animals
      > and in some situations you need the detailed use cases.

      In what situations would you need detailed use cases, and why?

      - George

      --
      Nov 15-16 Agile Testing Workshop in Orlando
      http://www.sqe.com/AgileDevPracticesEast/Workshop/
      ----------------------------------------------------------
      * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
      Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
      Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
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