7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2007
This book is a reasonable overview of authoring use cases.
The good points are that the book is thorough, in that not only is the process of writing use cases covered in depth but also the topic of conducting use case workshops is given coverage.
The weak points of the book are that it is quite pedantic and repetitive. For example the chapter on conducting use case workshops recommends many obvious things such as ensuring that sticky notes, pens and adequate lighting are available. The authors also inflate the process of writing use cases in a pompous and bombastic manner, rather than being more pragmatic, simple and straightforward. For example, lengthy sections of the book describe the state of a use case as progressing from initial sketch to fully-realized and differentiate between each state in excruciating and unnecessary detail. You will also become frustrated reading it cover to cover as the same points are restated in subtly different ways sometimes 3 or 4 times.
Having read several books on use cases, I feel this book does have enough good material to merit being purchased - but only as your 2nd or 3rd use case book, after more practical books on the subject such as Cockburn's _Writing Effective Use Cases_.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2003
A step by step guide to developing Use Case models and especially Use Case Descriptions. This book not only shows how to develop successful Use Cases it also describes the common errors and pitfalls. A very good read. This is one book that will not gather dust on my bookshelf.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2006
I bought this book to serve as a quick recap on use case modelling before I began a new job which entailed carrying out this task.
The book is quite easy going, sitting somewhere between academic reference and hard core UML specification based books. I found it useful for refreshing my understanding, but I imagine it would be a useful starting point for any one new to use case modelling, there are plenty of 'basic' introductions.
If you are looking for plenty of examples of use cases then this book doesn't contain all that many (there is an extended one in the back of the book used throughout on 'Withdrawing cash' from a cash machine. I think it would benefit from more examples if any future editions are planned.
My main criticism of the book is that it sometmies feels as though the authors have used it as a form of catharsis to vent their frustration at the misuse of use cases in the software industry. Sometimes, the tone almost shouts at you. It also repeats itself a great deal in the context of 'dos and donts', as if screaming at people who continually misuse UML!
However saying that, in my experience so many people do misuse the unified model, that authors have a point. In this sense, if you pick up on their lessons and best practice you can't go far wrong.
The book is worth the cheap price for anyone embarking in a role which requires writing extensive use case descriptions, it concentrates heavily on the textual side, rather than the diagrammatic format which most people expect.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2003
I am not sure my words can do this book justice. The authors take a step by step approach to use case authoring with sound practical advice. Writing use cases is fraught with dangers; this book highlights these dangers and gives sound advice on how and why these problems occur and how to avoid them. If you are new to use case modeling, or a seasoned campaigner you will find useful wisdom in this book.