In project management, a use case is a technique used to identify and define the functional requirements of a system. It provides a structure for gathering customer requirements and setting the project scope. Use cases are also useful for having end-users test the system as it’s being designed, which leads to quicker development and a more usable system .
Use cases help manage complexity in projects by clearly defining expectations regarding outcomes, resource allocation, and potential roadblocks . They provide a structure that facilitates the requirements discussions between customers and technical staff and results in work products that are useful not only to designers and developers but also to business customers .
A use case document should establish and identify a few key components such as the system, actors, and scenarios. The system is the product, service, or software under discussion. An actor is a user or anything else that exhibits behavior when interacting with the system. The actor could be another system, a piece of hardware, or an entire organization. Scenarios describe how actors interact with the system to achieve their goals ?.
Use cases are particularly effective tools to help identify and manage project scope. They help set the boundary for the project by defining what is included in the project and what is not . Use cases accommodate changes as more is known throughout the project life cycle .