From User Stories to Use Cases: Tell the Full Story

Most of us have been trained to write user stories.

As a [ type of user ], I want [ some goal ] so that [ some reason ].

We write these on whiteboards.
We write these on notecards.
We write these in crazy software that promises to help us work more efficiently.

In the end, they end up being used as a checkbox

Do the tasks I just completed allow this user to complete their goal?
Yes? Done! Check the box, take down the card.

And this is how Frankenstein’s monster was built. Piece by piece. Stitched together.

You want more for your projects, don’t you?

For that, we need to look at User Stories as just the start, and as a guideline for creating Use Cases.

Use Cases map out each step of the user’s path. Documenting this path helps the entire team see how various pieces of the project fit together, point out redundancies or when entire parts of a system are missing, and help catch scope creep. They help developers work more efficiently. They also turn themselves into test scripts and user documentation at the end.

It is almost too good to be true.

In this session we’ll run through how to turn User Stories into Use Cases. We’ll also cover a few ways to document Use Cases to get the most out of them.

As the presenter, I want to share my love for User Stories and Use Cases with Project Manager and Leads, so that they can go back after DrupalCon and help their teams prevent Monster Projects.

About the Speaker(s):
I started working with Drupal in 2007, moving through the ranks from Site Meddler to Lead Developer and Site Architect. In 2016 I started working for Pantheon, first in Customer Success, then as an Enterprise Onboarding Manager, and now as the Migrations Lead on the Professional Services team.
From requirements gathering to best approaches, I love bringing order to chaos - and helping others do the same.

Drupal is a registered trademark of Dries Buytaert.