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. Hope you enjoy!

  • Scott Sehlhorst provides some guidance on finding the best fit for capturing user requirements by comparing user stories and the various forms of use cases. He includes some helpful graphics to illustrate his points.
  • Use case guru Alistair Cockburn compares use cases and user stories, explains some of the difficulties that can arise from giving up use cases for user stories, and gives 5 reasons why he still uses use cases.
  • also has a nice primer on what user stories are, and contrasts them to traditional requirements.

I’ve said before that we use use cases in my shop, but I’ve found that even though we don’t operate in a SCRUM or XP environment,  using Cohn’s format for documenting user stories is a quick and useful first step in identifying and later documenting use cases.

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

Do you know of any other, similar articles? If so, please share.

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About the Author

Jonathan Babcock is a management and IT consultant with expertise in business analysis, process optimization and solution delivery methodology. Practical Analyst is his outlet for sharing what he's learned, and for interacting with solution delivery professionals across the globe.

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  1. Thank you for the article, Scott. It's one of the more useful blog posts I've come across in quite a while.

    Your post was actually the catalyst that caused me to review and round up some of my other bookmarks for the purpose of sharing and comparing.

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