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Re:User Stories vs. Agile Use Cases

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  • Steven Mak
    I think they serve different purposes. http://www.infoq.com/news/2008/07/use-case-or-user-story Use case is very good for a permanent document, in case the
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 30, 2008
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      I think they serve different purposes.

      http://www.infoq.com/news/2008/07/use-case-or-user-story

      Use case is very good for a permanent document, in case the customer
      wants one.

      Moreover, I believe it also depends on how well the team is familiar
      with them.

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mellor"
      <tom.mellor.c5t2@...> wrote:
      >
      > The use case / user story discussion/debate can perpetuate for eternity.
      > It's really not a matter that warrants much discussion. The scenario
      > seems to imply that the 2 teams are sharing the development of a single
      > product. Perhaps the best way to approach this issue is to ask the one
      > team why it desires use cases. Some people (and organizations) are not
      > comfortable with the simplicity and minimalist composition of a user
      > story. We know that thousands or very good programs have been written
      > using stories (and use cases) and the details (requirements) needed to
      > code the stories are always driven out at some point. The issue may
      > simply be one of the extent of documentation desired/required by the
      > team and/or the organization. While we don't advocate documentation as
      > a means of communication, it does convey information and that is
      > important to a team. Information is best exchanged in face-to-face
      > communication, but if the teams are sharing the development and virtual
      > synchronous communication isn't possible, then one team may desire more
      > detail. If the teams are working on different products, then it probably
      > ought to be at the discretion of each team as to whether it uses use
      > cases or user stories.
      >
      > Tom Mellor
      > Certified Scrum Trainer
      >
    • Tom Mellor
      Alistair makes good points. We find use cases more valuable when we are producing a new system and we want to see the flow, the pre-conditions,
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 1, 2008
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        Re: User Stories vs. Agile Use Cases

        Alistair makes good points.  We find use cases more valuable when we are producing a new system and we want to see the flow, the pre-conditions, post-conditions, assumptions, etc.  Obviously we don't try to drive out the requirement details for the system in use cases, but rather we use them to tie the components of the system together for a big picture view.  In existing systems that we are upgrading, rewriting, etc., we typically only compose user stories, even if use cases for the system have not been created.  One thing about use cases that is potentially unfavorable is that they decay over time unless they are properly updated for changes.  Therein lies the problem - who takes the responsibility and realizes they need to be updated.  User stories don't typically decay as readily. 

        Tom Mellor
        Certified Scrum Trainer
        tom.mellor.c5t2@...
        309.846.4899 (Work and Cell)
         

      • aacockburn
        Good points, Tom. This sort of discussion gets me to note that the workers working on my house have a belt sander and also a chisel. I ve seen them use both.
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 1, 2008
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          Good points, Tom.

          This sort of discussion gets me to note that the workers working on
          my house have a belt sander and also a chisel. I've seen them use
          both. I've not yet seen them argue over, "Should we get rid of the
          belt sander and only keep the chisel, or vice versa?"

          I also can't see the workmen saying, "I'm not going to learn how to
          use a belt sander - this chisel works fine for me."

          The way of phrasing the question about use cases versus user stories
          already presupposes that an either/or choice is appropriate.

          They are both tools. Learn them both. We are all professionals -- it
          behooves us to know the tools available to us.

          Alistair


          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mellor"
          <tom.mellor.c5t2@...> wrote:
          >
          > Alistair makes good points. We find use cases more valuable when
          we are
          > producing a new system and we want to see the flow, the pre-
          conditions,
          > post-conditions, assumptions, etc. Obviously we don't try to drive
          out
          > the requirement details for the system in use cases, but rather we
          use
          > them to tie the components of the system together for a big picture
          > view. In existing systems that we are upgrading, rewriting, etc.,
          we
          > typically only compose user stories, even if use cases for the
          system
          > have not been created. One thing about use cases that is
          potentially
          > unfavorable is that they decay over time unless they are properly
          > updated for changes. Therein lies the problem - who takes the
          > responsibility and realizes they need to be updated. User stories
          don't
          > typically decay as readily.
          >
          > Tom Mellor
          > Certified Scrum Trainer
          > tom.mellor.c5t2@...
          > 309.846.4899 (Work and Cell)
          >
        • peterstev
          Lady & Gentlemen, Yes, I have learned a lot from this discussion as well, including the value of well equipped tool box ;-) Kind regards, Peter
          Message 4 of 15 , Dec 1, 2008
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            Lady & Gentlemen,

            Yes, I have learned a lot from this discussion as well, including the
            value of well equipped tool box ;-)

            Kind regards,

            Peter

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "aacockburn" <acockburn@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Good points, Tom.
            >
            > This sort of discussion gets me to note that the workers working on
            > my house have a belt sander and also a chisel. I've seen them use
            > both. I've not yet seen them argue over, "Should we get rid of the
            > belt sander and only keep the chisel, or vice versa?"
            >
            > I also can't see the workmen saying, "I'm not going to learn how to
            > use a belt sander - this chisel works fine for me."
            >
            > The way of phrasing the question about use cases versus user stories
            > already presupposes that an either/or choice is appropriate.
            >
            > They are both tools. Learn them both. We are all professionals -- it
            > behooves us to know the tools available to us.
            >
            > Alistair
            >
            >
            > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mellor"
            > <tom.mellor.c5t2@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Alistair makes good points. We find use cases more valuable when
            > we are
            > > producing a new system and we want to see the flow, the pre-
            > conditions,
            > > post-conditions, assumptions, etc. Obviously we don't try to drive
            > out
            > > the requirement details for the system in use cases, but rather we
            > use
            > > them to tie the components of the system together for a big picture
            > > view. In existing systems that we are upgrading, rewriting, etc.,
            > we
            > > typically only compose user stories, even if use cases for the
            > system
            > > have not been created. One thing about use cases that is
            > potentially
            > > unfavorable is that they decay over time unless they are properly
            > > updated for changes. Therein lies the problem - who takes the
            > > responsibility and realizes they need to be updated. User stories
            > don't
            > > typically decay as readily.
            > >
            > > Tom Mellor
            > > Certified Scrum Trainer
            > > tom.mellor.c5t2@
            > > 309.846.4899 (Work and Cell)
            > >
            >
          • David H.
            ... If the value the chisel returned would gradually move towards zero I stipulate that discussion would come up more and more. ... You have obviously never
            Message 5 of 15 , Dec 1, 2008
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              2008/12/1 aacockburn <acockburn@...>:
              > Good points, Tom.
              >
              > This sort of discussion gets me to note that the workers working on
              > my house have a belt sander and also a chisel. I've seen them use
              > both. I've not yet seen them argue over, "Should we get rid of the
              > belt sander and only keep the chisel, or vice versa?"
              >
              If the value the chisel returned would gradually move towards zero I
              stipulate that discussion would come up more and more.

              > I also can't see the workmen saying, "I'm not going to learn how to
              > use a belt sander - this chisel works fine for me."
              >
              You have obviously never met my steph father (who happens to be a
              structural engineer for car bodies) and swears to certain ways of
              doing it and completely disregarding others. Apparently it works for
              him, he is still quite respected in his community.

              > The way of phrasing the question about use cases versus user stories
              > already presupposes that an either/or choice is appropriate.
              >
              > They are both tools. Learn them both. We are all professionals -- it
              > behooves us to know the tools available to us.
              >
              We are also human and thus we are limited in what we can learn. I
              would suggest we only learn the things that return most value to us in
              the context we need to learn them in. If knowing a lot about Use Cases
              enables me to write better User Stories in the end, then I am all for
              learning about them.

              I do not know anything noteworthy about Use Cases and yet I seem to be
              capable of writing User Stories for complex problems. I would really
              like to know whether learning about Use Cases can improve my
              abilities. Any suggestions?

              -d

              --
              Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
              Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

              "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
              benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
            • aacockburn
              I learned long ago that there are people who will only learn a new tool or technique when faced with abject failure. Short of that, they say -- no matter what
              Message 6 of 15 , Dec 1, 2008
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                I learned long ago that there are people who will only learn a new
                tool or technique when faced with abject failure. Short of that, they
                say -- no matter what difficulties they encounter along the way --
                "See, I told my tool box was sufficient for the job."

                Best wishes with your tool box. May you one day learn to spot the
                empty spaces in it.

                Alistair

                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "David H." <dmalloc@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > 2008/12/1 aacockburn <acockburn@...>:
                > > Good points, Tom.
                > >
                > > This sort of discussion gets me to note that the workers working
                on
                > > my house have a belt sander and also a chisel. I've seen them use
                > > both. I've not yet seen them argue over, "Should we get rid of the
                > > belt sander and only keep the chisel, or vice versa?"
                > >


                > If the value the chisel returned would gradually move towards zero I
                > stipulate that discussion would come up more and more.
                >
                > > I also can't see the workmen saying, "I'm not going to learn how
                to
                > > use a belt sander - this chisel works fine for me."
                > >
                > You have obviously never met my steph father (who happens to be a
                > structural engineer for car bodies) and swears to certain ways of
                > doing it and completely disregarding others. Apparently it works for
                > him, he is still quite respected in his community.
                >
                > > The way of phrasing the question about use cases versus user
                stories
                > > already presupposes that an either/or choice is appropriate.
                > >
                > > They are both tools. Learn them both. We are all professionals --
                it
                > > behooves us to know the tools available to us.
                > >
                > We are also human and thus we are limited in what we can learn. I
                > would suggest we only learn the things that return most value to us
                in
                > the context we need to learn them in. If knowing a lot about Use
                Cases
                > enables me to write better User Stories in the end, then I am all
                for
                > learning about them.
                >
                > I do not know anything noteworthy about Use Cases and yet I seem to
                be
                > capable of writing User Stories for complex problems. I would really
                > like to know whether learning about Use Cases can improve my
                > abilities. Any suggestions?
                >
                > -d
                >
                > --
                > Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
                > Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail
                accounts.
                >
                > "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
                > benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
                >
              • George Dinwiddie
                ... There s a /really/ good book on Use Cases, though Alistair may be too modest to mention it. I think you would find reading it worth your time.
                Message 7 of 15 , Dec 1, 2008
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                  David H. wrote:
                  > We are also human and thus we are limited in what we can learn. I
                  > would suggest we only learn the things that return most value to us in
                  > the context we need to learn them in. If knowing a lot about Use Cases
                  > enables me to write better User Stories in the end, then I am all for
                  > learning about them.
                  >
                  > I do not know anything noteworthy about Use Cases and yet I seem to be
                  > capable of writing User Stories for complex problems. I would really
                  > like to know whether learning about Use Cases can improve my
                  > abilities. Any suggestions?

                  There's a /really/ good book on Use Cases, though Alistair may be too
                  modest to mention it. I think you would find reading it worth your
                  time. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0201702258/

                  I've also seen people use Use Cases like a carpenter using a chisel for
                  a screwdriver. I couldn't get them to take a look at the book. I also
                  couldn't get them to throw out "use cases" where there was no user, just
                  another part of the same system.

                  I wouldn't say Use Cases are /necessary/ "for showing people the shape
                  of the system to be," but they're a good tool to know.

                  - George

                  --
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                  Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                  Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                • Raghuram
                  I agree that use cases are surely a good tool to know. People who have been using use cases earlier and changed over to user stories, in my opinion, can write
                  Message 8 of 15 , Dec 1, 2008
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                    I agree that use cases are surely a good tool to know. People who have been using use cases earlier and changed over to user stories, in my opinion, can write better stories.  But people who already have started using user stories before knowing anything about use cases may feel it a bit redundant.
                     
                    K.V.M.Raghuram,



                    From: George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Tuesday, 2 December, 2008 8:21:14 AM
                    Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: User Stories vs. Agile Use Cases

                    David H. wrote:

                    > We are also human and thus we are limited in what we can learn. I
                    > would suggest we only learn the things that return most value to us in
                    > the context we need to learn them in. If knowing a lot about Use Cases
                    > enables me to write better User Stories in the end, then I am all for
                    > learning about them.
                    >
                    > I do not know anything noteworthy about Use Cases and yet I seem to be
                    > capable of writing User Stories for complex problems. I would really
                    > like to know whether learning about Use Cases can improve my
                    > abilities. Any suggestions?

                    There's a /really/ good book on Use Cases, though Alistair may be too
                    modest to mention it. I think you would find reading it worth your
                    time. http://www.amazon.. com/exec/ obidos/ISBN= 0201702258/

                    I've also seen people use Use Cases like a carpenter using a chisel for
                    a screwdriver. I couldn't get them to take a look at the book. I also
                    couldn't get them to throw out "use cases" where there was no user, just
                    another part of the same system.

                    I wouldn't say Use Cases are /necessary/ "for showing people the shape
                    of the system to be," but they're a good tool to know.

                    - George

                    --
                    ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                    * George Dinwiddie * http://blog. gdinwiddie. com
                    Software Development http://www.idiacomp uting.com
                    Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemar yland.org
                    ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -



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                  • David H.
                    ... Thanks... as he goes and buys it... -d -- Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication. Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my
                    Message 9 of 15 , Dec 2, 2008
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                      2008/12/2 George Dinwiddie <lists@...>:
                      > David H. wrote:
                      >> We are also human and thus we are limited in what we can learn. I
                      >> would suggest we only learn the things that return most value to us in
                      >> the context we need to learn them in. If knowing a lot about Use Cases
                      >> enables me to write better User Stories in the end, then I am all for
                      >> learning about them.
                      >>
                      >> I do not know anything noteworthy about Use Cases and yet I seem to be
                      >> capable of writing User Stories for complex problems. I would really
                      >> like to know whether learning about Use Cases can improve my
                      >> abilities. Any suggestions?
                      >
                      > There's a /really/ good book on Use Cases, though Alistair may be too
                      > modest to mention it. I think you would find reading it worth your
                      > time. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0201702258/
                      >
                      Thanks... as he goes and buys it...

                      -d

                      --
                      Sent from gmail so do not trust this communication.
                      Do not send me sensitive information here, ask for my none-gmail accounts.

                      "Therefore the considerations of the intelligent always include both
                      benefit and harm." - Sun Tzu
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