Coding may seem to be at the heart of software development. However, coding alone cannot ensure that all the requirements of the software will be met. Developers will have to improvise on the design and they may think that they have full understanding of what the application must do. However, there will always be the need for rectifications and recoding, which can take a lot of time for everyone including the developers, the end users, and the client.

This is why it is important for each project cycle to emphasize on gathering requirements. This is where expert User Story and Use Case support from services like SoftTeco come into the picture, especially in rapid development concepts like DevOps for which you may need DevOps training, Agile, and CI/CD.

These development approaches, especially Agile development, rely on requirements. This is required to set a wider scope from the beginning, to identify and adjust  the requirements against each iteration. Development teams must understand what makes a User Story Vs. a Use Case, how to write them, and when to use them. They are different in many ways and achieve different goals. They involve different levels of project details and are usually used at different points during the project cycle.

What is a Use Case?

A Use Case covers in-depth details compared to a User Story. Use Case specifications or documents can cover several pages. They capture the details of the user-system interaction, ensuring that everything gets covered and nothing is left out.

What is a User Story?

A User Story is a concise statement about what the user expects from the system. It also covers the business value linked to the user-system interaction.

An example of a User Story is like “I want the software to do <something> so that <something>.” They are also referred to as requirements cards because they can be too brief to be fit onto an index card. Compared to a Use Case, they don’t have the following:

  • Detailed business rules
  • Usability standards
  • Data specifications
  • Other forms of detailed requirements

The difference between a Use Case and User Story is easy to comprehend when you look at each one’s purpose.

  • Use Cases are focused on capturing the requirements in detail in the user-system interaction. The main purpose is to hand these requirements to the development team.
  • User Stories are focused on capturing the requirements without addressing the details that may change later. The main purpose is to identify features and the business value associated with them and then prioritizing them.

Features of a Good User Story

So what makes a great User Story? It should have the following features:

  • It should be independent
  • It should be valuable
  • It should be negotiable
  • It should be estimable
  • It should be testable
  • It should be small

A good User Story should describe the value to the end-user. If the end-user cannot get value out of it, the story will not make any sense.

Features of a Good Use Case

A Use Case is a document and the key features of a good Use Case are as follows:

  • It contains a short description that mentions the goal
  • It has a trigger which is one or more events that will trigger the Use Case
  • It specifies the actors
  • It states the preconditions that need to happen in the system
  • It has normal and alternative flow and exceptions
  • It has post conditions

So a Use Case is more related to the behavior the development team is required to build into the application. So it is going to have lots of details, which clearly describe everything the development team has to build to address user needs. It also provides the developers a clearer sense of what the application is supposed to do.