Top positive review
The Best Use Case Book I've Read So Far
on February 12, 2002
Programmers naturally hate use cases. They seem boring, and having seen hundreds of them (written by others and handed to me) over the years, I had lost hope that this practice would ever be of any benefit. I had grown tired of constantly reading varying levels of abstraction and 'use-case-itis'. All this, despite the fact that Jacobson's original work and the UDP incorporation of use cases as central to that process was clearly a better way to go than wading through hundreds, sometimes thousands of pages of 'shall' statements that accompany most projects (and too often, lead to their failure).
Then I read this book. I now use it regularly in every requirements-related class I teach, and I tell every programmer I meet to buy this book. Imagine a use case book that programmers can actually get excited about! This book blazes new territory and its practical insights and humor make it a fun read, as well.
Here are the great highlights:
1. Properly scoping and relating use cases
2. Introducing Business Rules as 'first-class citizens"
3. Applying UDP iterations to the use case development process.
These last two items make the book stand out. Understanding the importance of business rules as enterprise-wide invariants that span use cases is ground-breaking. The four UDP iterations are ingenious because they can help to enforce the proper level of abstraction, which is a big problem area for use cases. Try it, you'll like it!
In addition, the book is loaded with great practical advice and examples of good (and bad!) use case text. And finally, the authors present the most compelling arguments I've ever heard for ditching traditional requirements-gathering methods (which have clearly FAILED), because use cases are, after all, requirements IN CONTEXT (like the title says). If every use case writer read this book and followed it's advice, the software crisis would be dealt a serious blow.
Bottom line : If you write use cases (or worse, are forced to implement bad use cases at gunpoint), get this book!