Every organization and business has clearly spelt out the system of operations, procedure and how they interact with the general public and/or specific stakeholders. Sometimes, the processes involved in running an organization on a daily basis can be so complex and many necessitating the need for simplified descriptions to bring about clear, effective analysis and monitoring.
In view of this, the use of diagrams to represent the subject(s), the actors and the Use Cases involved in such business making identifications of problems easy and ensuring the relevant solution are provided is deployed. For clarity, the subject is the business involved or the software designed to execute the business; the actors are external individuals interacting with the business processes while the Use Cases embody the processes and actions involved designed to ensure seamless operations.
Use Case Diagrams are an exceptional way of analyzing the requirements of a system and how to use the processes involved efficiently while interacting with the external audience.
Explanations of the terms involved in the ‘Use Case Diagrams’ are:
Actors: These customers, business partners, suppliers, the general publics or an external system interacting with the system. It is better to name the actor based on the functions performed than mentioning the real identity. That helps to simplify the Use Case Diagrams for analysis and observation. For example, it is better to call an actor a supplier than say the company name like PIMAN. Actors should be made to model roles and not initiators names.
Secondly, actors should be drawn to the left to ensure their roles are shown easily to the right.
Lastly, ensure actors do not interact with each other. They can only interact with the system.
It is good to note that all actors are stakeholders while not all stakeholders are actors since not all of them interact with the system.
Use Cases: These are the automated processes that are deployed to ensure the business runs smoothly and without hitches. For easy analysis, ensure the names of the Use Cases in the diagram begin with a verb. This is because Use Cases model actions and roles. Examples: Supplier of raw materials and not Supplier. For instance, Monitoring shoppers, print receipt, facilitate payments and so on. Secondly, try to place the names of the Use Case Diagrams in the descriptive form of the role(s) modeled.
Lastly, to ensure clarity of the Use Case Diagrams, place the inheriting Use Case below the earlier ones till the process is completed. Examples: Confirmation of items in the shopping list comes above payment at the POP terminal while issuance of receipt comes further below.
Subjects: Shopping malls, filling stations and restaurants. Other software subjects are CCTV, automated payment systems, morning counting machines and point of sales terminals. The Use Case Diagrams have been widely deployed to simplify the processes involved in a system include in software engineering. Use Case Diagrams and structures have also helped in many process models and frameworks such as ICONIX, the Oracle Unified methods and so on.
Its strength lies in simplification of process, identification of errors, producing solutions and modifications where necessary.
Here is our collection of 40 Use Case Templates & Examples (Word, PDF),