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.
- Martin Fowler replies to the question, “What is the difference between use cases and XP’s stories?“
- Mike Cohn wrote an excellent article on the advantages of using user stories for requirements for which I did a brief synopsis a while back that can be found here. In a separate article, Cohn also provides a useful format for capturing user stories.
- 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.
- Agile UX points out “14 major differences” between use cases and user stories.
- ExtremeProgramming.org also has a nice primer on what user stories are, and contrasts them to traditional requirements.
- In The Agile Engineer’s opinion, “user stories are fine for functional requirements, but they are completely useless for quality requirements (aka non-functional 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.