Lean Business Use Cases in an Agile World

Lean Business Use Cases in an Agile World

Lean Use Cases are becoming the de facto standard for communicating functional requirements in Lean and Agile environments. Writing a Business Use Case is a skill that anyone in an organization can easily acquire. This example-rich course explains the who, what, when, how, and why of Lean Use Case models.

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Course Goal

  • Determine how to handle alternate and exception situations
  • Apply Business Event Analysis to discover Lean Use Cases based on business activities
  • Analyze business scenarios to discover Lean Use Cases
  • Document user interaction in Lean Use Cases descriptions and diagrams
  • Define and defend the need for Lean Use Cases


  • Consultants
  • Developers
  • End users
  • IT/Business analysts
  • Project Managers
  • Project team members


Lesson Plan

Welcome to the Course
1 Course Overview Preview
2 What You Will Learn in this Course
3 About Your Instructor
Introduction to Lean Use Cases
4 What You Will Learn in this Section
5 What is a Use Case?
6 A (Very) Brief History of Lean Concepts
7 Lean and Agile: Philosophies that Play Well Together
8 Lean Requirements Defined
9 Use Case vs User Story
10 Lean Principles Applied to Use Cases
11 The Value of Lean Use Cases
How to Model Lean Use Cases
12 What You Will Learn in this Section
13 The Use Case Model
14 Actors Are Integral to Use Cases
15 Use Case Diagram Symbols and Rules
16 Use Case Naming Recommendations
17 Different Use Case Types for Different Decisions
18 Business Use Cases Need Briefs
19 Examples of Use Case Briefs
How to Write Detailed Use Case Descriptions
20 What You Will Learn in this Section
21 The Purpose of Solution-Level (Detailed) Use Cases
22 The Components of a Detailed Use Case
23 A Detailed Use Case has Pre- and Post-Conditions
24 Paths (or Flow of Events) Are the Meat of the Use Case
25 How to Represent a Path or Flow of Events
26 3 Different Types of Paths: Main (aka Standard, Basic), Alternate, and Exception
27 Dealing with IF'S (Conditions) in a Use Case
28 Examples of Main, Alternative, and Exception Paths
29 Finding and Developing Alternative and Exception Paths
30 System Use Cases to Communicate with Technical Experts
31 The Role of Non-Functional Requirements in Use Cases
32 Recap of the Detailed Use Case
Minimal Use Case Specifications Are Lean
33 What You Will Learn in this Section
34 Introducing Use Case Inclusions and Extensions
35 Avoid Redundant Use Cases with Inclusions
36 Understanding Use Case Extensions
37 Summary of Extensions and Inclusions
Finding and Defining Lean Use Cases
38 What You Will Learn in this Section
39 3 Tools for Discovering Use Cases
40 Tool 1: From Vision Statement to Use Case
41 Example: From Vision Statement to Use Cases
42 Tool 2: From Business Events to Use Cases
43 The Purpose of Event/Response Analysis
44 Types of Events
45 Discovering and Naming Business Events
46 Business Events Trigger Use Cases
47 Determining Event Response Recipients
48 Use Cases Handle Events at Every Level
49 Discovering Event Responses
50 From Event Response to Use Case Identification
51 Identifying Actors from Events and/or Responses
52 Dealing with Scheduled Events
53 Tool 3: Using Scenarios - A Bottom-Up Approach
54 Add Scenarios to Reveal Different Paths
Summary and Appendix
55 Summary of Lean Use Cases
56 Course Handout - PDF


Tom Hathaway

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21 Students

4 Courses

Tom Hathaway

Business Analysis Expert, Speaker, Author, Trainer, Mentor, and Facilitator

Tom has been a business analyst since long before it was called business analysis. He has over 30 years of experience in the fields of information technology, methodologies, and business analysis. In his writings and lectures, he strives for enlightening while entertaining.  He has taught thousands of students business and systems analysis skills since the '80s and has facilitated hundreds of requirements discovery sessions under a variety of acronyms (JAD, ASAP, JADr, JRP, etc). 

As a team, Angela and Tom Hathaway have trained, consulted, mentored and coached thousands of business analysts around the world for organizations from small businesses to Fortune 100. Current and past customers include TIAA-CREF (Financial), Cathay Pacific (Airline), Manitoba Telecom Services (Telecommunications), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Hospitality), government agencies, and a myriad of organizations spanning all sizes and industries. Tom and Angela's training, consulting, and mentoring efforts have saved their customers around the world millions and can help your organization improve its business analysis practices.

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