ACM Queue: Use-Case 2.0 The Hub of Software Development

White Paper Published April 5, 2016

Use cases have been around for almost 30 years as a requirements approach and have been part of the inspiration for more-recent techniques such as user stories. Now the inspiration has flown in the other direction. Use-Case 2.0 is the new generation of use-case-driven development—light, agile, and lean—inspired by user stories and the agile methodologies Scrum and Kanban.

Use-Case 2.0 has all the popular values from the past—not just supporting requirements, but also architecture, design, test, and user experience—and it is instrumental in business modeling and software reuse.

Use-Case 2.0 has been inspired by user stories to assist with backlogs à la Scrum and one-piece flow with Kanban, with the introduction of an important new concept, the use-case slice.

This article makes the argument that use cases essentially include the techniques that are provided by user stories but offer significantly more for larger systems, larger teams, and more complex and demanding developments. They are as lightweight as user stories, but can also scale in a smooth and structured way to incorporate as much detail as needed. Most importantly, they drive and connect many other aspects of software development.