Benefits/Risks of Use Cases





Use cases provide some very clear benefits to the Analysis Phase.  One important benefit of use case driven analysis is that it helps manage complexity, since it focuses on one specific usage aspect at a time. Use cases start from the very simple viewpoint that a system is built first and foremost for its users. (12) Another benefit of use cases is that they provide basic groundwork for the requirements document, user manual and test cases.  Use cases also encourage designers to envision outcomes before attempting to specify outcomes, and thereby they help to make requirements more proactive in system development. (11)




There are some drawbacks and risks associated with use cases.  Use cases eschew description of user motivations and experiences, and do not address usefulness and usability.  Although quality issues are often crucial to the success of a software system, there are no systematic way to handle nonfunctional requirements with use cases. Another drawback exists when trying to document interactions between requirements. Use cases look at each requirement separately and does not document the interaction between the requirements. (12) Many developers often avoid use cases because of the time required to prepare a complete set for an application.  Depending on the size of the system in question, it can take a significant amount of time to complete a set of use cases.  Others scorn the “boredom” of use cases, with their unnamed actors and dry, generalized events. Finally use cases are criticized for not capturing all the off the wall mishaps and events that can occur. (10)



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