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How to develop Use Cases to capture Scenarios

Most Concept of Operations document I’ve written have been a combination of a Word document (describing the current/proposed system from a non-technical perspective) and use case diagrams (usually in Microsoft Visio) that illustrate how a process works.

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Sometimes, I expand on this by showing an As Is (how things operate today) process flow and a To Be (how it will be) process diagram.

A typical scenario (use case) describes the interactions between the individuals involved, policies/restraints/limitation that influence these operations, and any data that goes in and comes back out!

Use cases describes system-related activities.

These describe a specific situation, or set of circumstances, where the user interacts with the system.

Tip: Write your use cases in the present tense.

Avoid saying, ‘the user will’ or ‘the user would.’ Write, “the user enters the credit card details into screen x” etc.

The project stakeholders (i.e. those who are responsible for signing off/funding of this project) will then review these scenarios.
Write the use cases in plain language—avoid technical jargon—and include reference to supporting material if necessary.

If another need must be added to the list, then you need to locate its origin in the scenarios and update the documents accordingly.

Read more:

1. How to write the Concept Operations Document

2. What it a Concept Operations Document?

3. How to Define the Goals, Objectives and Rationale

4. What you need to put into a Concept Operations Document

5. How to Justify the New System to Project Stakeholders

6. How to develop Use Cases to capture Work Scenarios

7. What's the Connection Between the Concept of Operations and Functional Requirements Document


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