Use Cases or User Stories? Read Up!

There have been some really interesting articles in recent days and weeks that have been comparing use cases and user stories, and highlighting the advantages of each. I’ve cherry-picked some of the best from my collection of bookmarks to share with you here.

Regardless of what method you use, it is good to be familiar with the available options and their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Use Case Basics: Distinguishing Between Exception and Alternative Paths

A while back I was involved in a discussion during which someone commented that because exceptions are really just alternatives to the main success path, then there’s really no need to bother distinguishing them from other alternatives to the main success path.

While I knew that idea didn’t feel quite right, and there must be a good (and probably simple) response, I didn’t have one at the tip of my tongue at the time. And I admit, it wasn’t a burning issue that kept me awake at night, so I never thought much about it afterward until I came across this description of why we differentiate between the two.

The Echo, The Lie and The UML Guy

“Early on, the goal is not to be right, but rather to be wrong in interesting, illuminative ways. Oh, it’s nice to feel like a genius when you do get it right the first time; but that’s rare. Much more common is that you think that you got it right, because your customer nods and doesn’t say much, when what’s really happening is that he’s too busy and just wants this meeting to be over. So being “right” in your early Echoes can lead to a false sense of security; and trying too hard to be right right away is misplaced effort and worry. Be as correct as you can manage, but recognize the limitations of your current knowledge.”