Use cases versus task descriptions

Søren Lauesen, Mohammad Amin Kuhail

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalConference articleResearchpeer-review


Abstract. [Context and motivation] Use cases are widely used as a substantial part of requirements, also when little programming is expected (COTS-based systems). [Question/problem] Are use cases effective as requirements? To an-swer this question, we invited professionals and researchers to specify require-ments for the same project: Acquire a new system to support a hotline. [Princi-pal ideas/results] Among the 15 replies, eight used traditional use cases that specified a dialog between users and system. Seven used a related technique, task description, which specified the customer's needs without specifying a dialog. [Contribution] It turned out that the traditional use cases covered the customer's needs poorly in areas where improvement was important but diffi-cult. Use cases also restricted the solution space severely. Tasks didn't have these problems and allowed an easy comparison of solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Book seriesLecture Notes in Computer Science
Volume D. Berry and X. Franch (Eds.): REFSQ 2011
Pages (from-to)106
Number of pages120
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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