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[Ampu-dev] Templates for Use cases and a context statement

From: alfred . differ
Subject: [Ampu-dev] Templates for Use cases and a context statement
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 01:00:58 -0500


I've put three files in the Patch Manager.  At Sourceforge, I would have
submitted them as potential documentation under the doc manager, but
Savannah does appear to have that functionality.  If they are any good as
starting points, they belong in CVS so revision control can take over.

The Context statement is just a straw man.  Those things usually get hacked
and slashed through at least a half dozen rounds before they come close to
the proper intent.  It's ready for some red ink since the only stuff in the
case study area is my interpretation of what I've read.

The context statement has three sections.

     What is the problem?
     Why solve the problem?
     What  will the System do to solve the problem?

Each of these sections is important for anyone trying to pickup on the
project for the first time.  They are purposely geared to a non-technical
reader.  Imagine trying to sell your project to a CEO.  They want to know
these three things so they can make a decision on whether to go forward.
They do not need to know how the system will work.  They also don't need to
know all that many details concerning what the system will do.  The details
are best left to subject matter experts which CEO's aren't.  The details
for how the system will work are best left to the Designers which CEO's

A context statement, when properly written usually doesn't go past page
two.  It's a one page document if it can be helped at all.

The other two documents are templates I use for use cases and related
scenarios.  Use cases are mostly text describing things from the
perspective of the user.  They aren't technical either.  User's are
generally subject matter experts, so they know the details about 'What is
supposed to happen' and are best kept away from 'How it is supposed to
happen.'  Use cases are developed in an iterative fashion a lot like code

If you want to see how these templates get used, check out Project SailAway
at  My documentation for that project is all in CVS under
the docs/html directory.  Browse around a bit and you will see how the
iterative development works.  One thing I have learned is it takes a fair
amount of time and interaction.  Use cases get red inked as much as context
statements do.  8)


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