Re: "use-case based documentation"

Subject: Re: "use-case based documentation"
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, Technical Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2015 02:26:02 +0000 (UTC)

The idea of basing documentation on use cases makes me nervous. It tells me the development team wants the docs written with only the use cases for source material. But there are ALWAYS gaps, bugs, shortfalls, and just plain mistakes between developing the use cases and cutting the gold master. There will be changes to the design that the technical writer will never know about until he sees the product itself, because the developers will all be too busy hunting bugs, or (happens all too often) they don't consider the tech writer really part of the team and they forgot he's there. Basing product documentation on any kind of design paper instead of basing it on looking at the actual product itself is nothing but a guarantee of documentation that is incomplete and out of phase with reality.There has never been an end-result product that actually works the way the design documents say it should, and I'll bet my entire next month's pay there never will be.


On Wednesday, February 4, 2015 2:12 PM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com> wrote:


On Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 1:48 PM, Robart, Kay <Kay -dot- Robart -at- tea -dot- texas -dot- gov> wrote:
> Well, a use case is sort of task-based, but it shows all the activities that a user wants to perform as well as alternate actions and the behavior of the software.

If they had that sort of formal document, Julie's manager could just
point to it.

Where I've worked, a use case is what one user would want to do with a
particular feature. It's not necessarily written down anywhere, it
might be just a point of discussion in meetings. One place I worked,
they had a fictional set of named users: Angie is a manager and needs
to do A, B, and C, Kevin is a case worker and needs to do C, D, and E,
etc. I think people in that company had too much time on their hands.

Agile user stories are similar, except that in agile the user story
comes first and the developers write the feature to satisfy the
associated acceptance requirements.
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Re: "use-case based documentation": From: Robert Lauriston

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