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Keeping Development on Track with Use-Case Slices

Delivering More Value to the Business at Dutch Railways (NS)

With 16.8 million inhabitants living within an area of 41,543 square kilometres (equivalent to approximately the size of the State of Maryland), the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Western Europe. It’s no wonder that travel by rail, because of proximity and ease of use, has become a preferred mode of transportation.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen / Dutch Railways (NS) is the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. It operates over 4,800 scheduled domestic trains a day, and serves 1.1 million passengers.

Business to employee technology plays an important part in ensuring a good customer experience. At NS, over 10,000 front-line staff access a device called the rail-pocket to help staff deliver services, such as ticket validation and trip or station updates. However, in 2014, after assessing the device’s technical limitations and an out-of-date operating system, NS launched an initiative to replace the rail-pocket with customized applications that run on company smartphones operating the Android mobile operating system. Their goal is to terminate the rail pocket device by summer 2016Introducing Use-Case 2.0 enabled NS to be as lightweight as they wanted by focusing on essentials and zooming in for more details when necessary. Use cases are “sliced up” to provide stories or scenarios for agile iterative development.

Using Use-Case 2.0 for agile projects seems to be an answer to the most important challenges we had on the specification and development side using the Scrum framework. We were able to offer the right level of specifications to our development team to let them work effectively in sprints, and it allowed our users to participate more directly in the development process, because the functionality is developed and released more shortly after user participation.”

Jordi Reineman *Manager Analysis & Design, Dutch Railways (NS) *

Open the pdf below to read the case study or view the article on InfoQ: Keeping Development ‘On Track’ with Use-Case Slices at Dutch Railways

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