Making Sense of Use Cases

An in-depth look at use cases, actors, and use case modeling
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  • Lectures 24
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

Come join us as we explore the world of use cases and use case modeling. We'll take a deep dive into this part of the UML, looking at actors, use cases, use case diagrams, flows of events, and activity diagrams. With these powerful tools at your disposal, you'll be able to create requirements artifacts that are invaluable to your team.

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • What a use case is, and how to effectively use them in a project
  • What an actor is, and how they can help us understand our users' perspectives
  • How to find use cases and actors in your project
  • How to build an effective use case diagram
  • How to model reusable logic with Includes and Extends relationships
  • How to model actor inheritance using Generalization relationships
  • What not to do when defining or modeling use cases and actors
  • How to write a use case specification, with a description, preconditions, basic and alternate flows of events, and post-conditions
  • How to build an activity diagram to give you a picture of the flow
  • How use cases fit into the SDLC
  • What to do with non-functional requirements

And through the whole class, we’ll use real world examples and exercises to help reinforce the ideas and give you the chance to practice. In this short course, you’ll get the skills you need to start applying use cases to your projects right away.

What are the requirements?

  • No prerequisites - we will give you all the information you need to know

What am I going to get from this course?

  • A deep dive into use case modeling
  • An approach and discussion consistent with UML 2.5
  • A detailed understanding of use cases and actors
  • The ability to find use cases and actors in your projects
  • The ability to model use cases and actors on a use case diagram, using associations, include and extend relationships, and generalizations
  • Knowledge to avoid pitfalls and common mistakes in use case modeling
  • The ability to write a complete and effective use case specification, with both basic and alternate flows
  • The ability to model the flow of events through a UML activity diagram
  • An understanding of how use cases fit into the SDLC
  • An understanding of how to document non-functional requirements
  • A fun learning experience, complete with examples, exercises, and solutions

Who is the target audience?

  • Business analysts
  • Product owners
  • Anyone working on a project with use cases who would like a deeper understanding of what use cases are and how to use them

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

An overview of the goals and contents of the course


An introduction to a sample problem we'll use throughout the course. We'll come back to this example over and over, as we go through the different concepts and ideas in the class. We'll use it for exercises as well, to tie all of the ideas together.

Section 2: Overview of Use Cases

This lecture is an introduction to use cases. We'll look in detail at the definition of the term "use case" and talk about the value a use case provides. We'll see some examples and talk about how we should (and shouldn't!) name use cases.


We'll talk about the process we follow to find use cases in a project, starting with the project's Vision and features. Then we'll put this into practice by going through our sample project and identifying use cases for that project.


In this session, we'll take a closer look at actors. We'll look closely at the definition of the term "actor", and talk about different types of actors, how to find them, and how to name them.


Practice the skills you just learned by identifying actors and use cases in a sample project.


This is our solution to the exercise, including the actors and use cases we found.

Section 3: Use Case Diagrams

A picture can be worth a thousand words, and a use case diagram can help a team better visualize and understand use cases, actors, and their relationships. In this session, we'll take a closer look at this diagram, including the UML notation for actors, use cases, and associations.


This session builds on the last, adding Include and Extend relationships to our use case diagrams. We can use these relationships to model reusable functionality in a system. We'll talk about how and when we might want to use them, the differences between Includes and Extends, and the UML notation for each one.


In this session, we'll go through one final type of relationship on a use case diagram - a generalization relationship between actors. We can use generalizations to model actors with some commonality.


It's important to recognize things not to do in a use case diagram. In this session, we'll go through some common mistakes in use case modeling, and talk about better approaches and solutions.


This session will tie all of the use case diagram discussions together. We'll walk through our example project and talk about how we build a use case diagram for that project.


Practice building a use case diagram by crtating one for teh actors and use cases you identified in the previous exercise.


Our solution to the use case diagram exercise. We'll walk through the use case diagram we put together for our actors and use cases.

Section 4: Use Case Specifications

The use case specification is a document that gives us requirements and other details for a use case. In this session, we'll take a close look at this document and its contents, format, and use in a project. We'll walk through each of the sections of the document, including the brief description, preconditions, basic flow of events, alternate flow of events, and post-conditions, and talk about what belongs in each section.


Practice the skills you just learned by writing a use case specification for one of your use cases.


We'll walk through the use case specificqation we wrote for one of our use cases.


An activity diagram is an optional, but very useful, addition to a use case specification. It can help the team better visualize the flow through the use case. In this session, we'll talk about this UML diagram and the notation we use.


Practice this UML skill by building an activity diagram for your use case.


Our solution to the activity diagram exercise. We'll walk through the diagram we put together for our use case.

Section 5: Use Cases in the SDLC

In this session, we'll talk about how use cases fit into a typical software development life cycle. In particular, we'll look at how use cases evolve through an iterative approach.


Use cases are a great way to capture functional requirements, but here we'll explore ways to capture non-functional requirements as well.

Section 6: Summary of the Course

In this session, we'll recap all of the key concepts from this course.

Course Summary - Downloadable PDF

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Instructor Biography

Luminescence Training, The cure for the common course

We are a group of business and IT professionals who are passionate about what we do, and passionate about teaching others. We’ve helped companies large and small in areas such as strategic planning, project and program management, requirements elicitation and management, and business modeling and architecture, and we’re taking some of our most popular courses and making them available on Udemy.

We call ourselves the cure for the common course - we believe learning should be fun, not forced. It should be relevant and real-world. Our goal is to take complex concepts and ideas and make them simple. We want to help you take these ideas and immediately apply them to real projects in real companies.

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