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Use Cases or User Stories

This is the first article I translated for InfoQ. The topic is "Use Cases or User Stories"

There is often misunderstanding about the different artifacts and techniques as if one were replacing the other. "Use Cases or User Stories" is one of such question.

The other misunderstanding is even more fundamental, not understanding enough about the techniques in question.

Mike Cohn did a very good job in identifying the differences between the two techniques.

  • Scope and completeness, user story usually covers the main success scenario, while a use case covers the main success scenario plus acceptance tests.
  • Purpose and longevity, story cards are usually discarded after an iteration, while use case is good as a permanent artifacts for documentation.


Another good piece of work is from Scott Ambler, <Apply the Right Artifact>. It's not just about use case or user stories, but apply the right artifact in general. Besides the characteristics of the technique itself, it is also important to consider the context of the project, and the skill level of the team itself.

You can see my work here: Uses Cases or User Stories

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