Re: Use Cases

Subject: Re: Use Cases
From: "Angela Kea" <writinglady -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 18:06:26 -0400

Do the programmers/designers create FSPs? Have you reviewed the FSPs
(Feature Specifications)? The Company that I work for uses RUP (Rational
Unified Process) and each enhancement (ex. Prod 222) has a Feature Spec, Use
Case(s), and Supplementary Specifications. From my experience, reviewing the
Feature Spec and the accompanying Supplementary Specs gave me the needed
information for documentation. The Use Cases just told me what should
happen, but not what buttons to click. They aren't very helpful, but on rare
occasions, I have found little bits of information that I missed in FSPs &

Feature Specs (FSPs)
FSPs lay down the law for what should be included in the enhancement. For
example, if the software contains a new screen, the Feature Spec should tell
you what EVERY field and button means on that page. It should also say how
to populate each field, or what happens to it when you make changes. There
should also be a screen shot of what the actual screen should look like when
it's completed. The screen shot is usually a representation created with a
graphics program or in Word, but it does let you see where the
buttons/fields will be located.

Supplementary Specs (SSs)
They usually highlight what a secondary pop-up window within the screen or
another part of the software would look like as a result of the new
enhancement. These include the meaning of the new additions to the screen,
pop-up, etc... and also includes screen shots.

If they're only giving you Use Cases and claim to be following the laws of
RUP, they'd better get to work on some specs.

Hope that helps a little bit. :-)

Technical Writer (Software)
writinglady -at- hotmail -dot- com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kelly Williamson" <kwcwtech -at- iwaynet -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2001 5:34 PM
Subject: Use Cases

: Can anyone provide me with an example of a use case that has actually
: (read: was useful) in Real Life? We have some use cases that were
: for us, and I, as well as the programmer, am just not finding them useful
: whatsoever. The programmer is saying that there is info. in there that
: shouldn't be (such as "the user clicks the "Submit" button to submit the
: information"--he's saying that's going into the screen design. The use
: are also spelling out exactly what the error messages should say and he
: doesn't like that either.)
: The person doing the use cases is saying she's "going right by the book".
: have no formal training in RUP, unfortunately, and the use cases I've seen
: seem like a big waste of time--I'm just not seeing the value in them. So I
: thought if I could see a useful one, I might be able to get a better idea
: what a good one looks like. Alternatively, I could send one of ours to
: someone experienced in this area and see what you think.
: Any help on this topic is appreciated. We really have to make this project
: work, and this is a sticking point thus far.
: Thanks,
: Kelly
: kwcwtech -at- iwaynet -dot- net

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Use Cases: From: Kelly Williamson

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