Use case: what is it and what is the difference between user story

“Does a User Story equate to a Use Case?” People frequently inquire about this topic, as well as the debate over whether a scrum team must utilise User Stories or Use Cases has raged throughout decades. This blog discusses in detail the concept of use case and the difference between use case and user story.

User Story and Use Case: What Is It !!!

User stories are a short statement of a user’s wish for a need. All narratives are basically composed from the perspective of the target consumer. User stories are written in a fairly casual yet simple style. Contrasting the conventional requirement gathering, User Story is based on what the user requires rather than what the solution might provide.

You can learn more about user story and how to create it in this article.: “How to create a user story for a startup?”

A use case describes how well users engage with a particular tool in precise terms. It is  an explanation of how someone who uses a certain strategy will achieve a specific objective. It is the technical description of how the technology and users engage. A use case may specify positive and negative scenarios, or any appropriate variations or exemptions. This technique produces a document that details all of a user’s activities toward achieving a goal. A use case modelling software may be used to create or visualise a use case.

Similarities and differences between use case and user story

Even though there may be a few parallels between User Stories and Use Cases, they really aren’t comparable; while User Stories and Use Cases identify consumers and explain goals, yet their aims are distinct. 

User stories typically are brief, basic narratives written from the customer’s point of view. User Stories are much more focused upon the outcome and value of the item being described, but Use Cases might be a little more detailed and define how your system will behave. There’s a lot greater information in use cases. Designing comprehensive use cases is a considerably more detailed procedure that is meant to assist experts in understanding how well a consumer engages with a product.

User story and use case have a lot in common:

  • If we look at the most important aspect of both strategies: 
  • User stories provide information on the user’s job, as well as goals and approval criteria. 
  • Use cases include the same characteristics as use story: an actor, a timeline of actions, and conditions of publication (a detailed Use Case template may contain many more other elements). 
  • Related concepts can also be found in use cases: It contains terminology such as actor, pre-conditions, and others.
Use case and user story

The following are the differences between a use case and a user story: 

  • Requirements are the focus of user stories. A “basic” user need is being elaborated when you compose a user story. A basic need is something the  user has to perform on a daily basis. 
  • The behaviour you’ll implement in the programme to suit such goals is referred to as use cases. 
  • The purpose of a user user story is to clarify a consumer’s requirements. It draws attention to an issue that the consumer may encounter on a regular basis. Whereas, use cases are created exclusively for the product team. It provides the team with a vision of the things the system ought to do.

Purpose of using use case

The use case is a description of a feature that a consumer will execute while utilising the target software. A use case happens when an individual (or a technology) with a larger objective has to engage with another system to accomplish a smaller goal on the way to the larger goal. 

Use cases are important for project managers to understand since they typically aid in the communication of various approaches to stakeholders and serve as a liaison between business justification and technological needs.

How to write a use case

A use case may be a valuable source of project information if delivered in textual format. Use cases are indeed a typical required artefact that may help technical and commercial parties communicate more effectively.

What information should be included in the use case

Use cases are rich in specifics that assist teams to arrange all of the multiple operational needs and in deciding the extent of the project. 

The following is a typical framework for use cases: 

  • Actor (the user/consumer, several users/consumers) 
  • Stakeholder — somebody or something with a personal stake in how the system under discussion behaves (SUD) 
  • System (the solution or features the actor engages with) 
  • Triggers – A trigger is a thing that causes a use case to be launched. 
  • Goal (The purpose of the actor which is to be achieved via the system)
  • The use case is depicted in a diagrammatic manner, in which the actors (users) are situated on the left and the product system or accountable business divisions on the right.

The following are some of the details: 

  • The use case’s objective
  • We need to know if the actor is a person or perhaps an another system 
  • Preconditions, or the condition in which the software must be in order so that the use case can occur. 
  • The system’s normal sequence of actions. 
  • Alternatives to the system’s current route 
  • Postconditions are steps performed after the use case or even the numerous states in which the system may be after the completion of the use case.

The things that aren’t Included in the Use Cases: 

  • Information regarding the user interfaces or displays, as well as execution  language for implementation.
creating use cases

Use cases: Steps for creating

Creating scenarios may appear simple, but it is not for everyone. It’s helpful to keep in mind that every single step must advance a use case and must mention one among four items: 

  • The actor makes a decision. 
  • The person who provides data to the program. 
  • The actor receives data from the program.  
  • The actor is being prompted to take action by the program. 

While creating use cases, begin with a practical partition, which is a list of the software’s most important functional classifications. This will assist in determining which areas require attention. 

Producing the key success scenario is by far the most difficult component of developing a use case. When  the actor finishes the use case, it specifies the engagement between the actor and the program. It’s not uncommon to find aspects in the need specification that aren’t apparent when examining and detailing use cases in depth. Vague needs become apparent early on, allowing them to be remedied well before the conceptual stage.

In an incredibly simple narrative, write the stages in a use case: 

Stage 1: Determine who’ll be primarily utilising the system, these people are the actors. 

Stage 2: Select any one of the users from the list made before. 

Stage 3: Determine whatever the user wishes to accomplish on the website. The activities which the users desire to do with the software become objectives, and whatever they perform on the site becomes a use case. The objective is the final result of the user’s efforts. 

Stage 4: For every single one of those Use Cases, go for the most common course of action whenever that Actor interacts with the software: A single  basic course and multiple alternate courses make up a use case. The basic course is the easiest course, wherein the delivery of the request is comparatively easy.

Stage 5: Within the use case narrative, outline the fundamental course: The usage scenario is presented in simple language from a consumer’s point of view. Recording a process flow is quite identical to this stage. 

Stage 6: Explain it in perspective of a consumer’s actions and the program’s responses that perhaps the user ought to be notified about. 

Stage 7: Once the fundamental route has been specified, consider adding different events to “expand” a use case: The modifications are created in the same way as the primary use case, however, they propose improvements to the most straightforward method. 

Stage 8: Search for parallels between the use cases. Keep track of them as common course use cases. 

Stage 9: Repeat steps 2–7 for all the users that are left.

Pros and cons of use case

Advantages of use case:

  • Use cases give a brief narrative and design structure: Use cases give an overview of the things the system would deliver to everybody engaged, like managers, executives, owners, developers, or stakeholders. 
  • They give an organising framework to assist staff in prioritising, estimating timelines, and carrying out tasks. 
  • Every need has a use case that offers enough depth and background to assure that every person is of one mind. 
  • Use cases are valuable since they serve to describe how a system should act while also discussing what can go awry. 
  • Use cases give a set of objectives that may be utilised to determine a system’s inefficiencies. 
  • Use cases offer solutions to specific problems and scenarios: Use cases provide answers to particular problems that programmers or engineers may face throughout the process.

Disadvantages of use cases

  • It takes a very long time to create 
  • Circumstances are hard to generalise upon since they are hypothetical use cases. 
  • It’s complex to control scenarios. 
  • User motives and experiences aren’t described in use cases, and they don’t highlight utility or usefulness. 
  • Every need is examined independently in use cases, and the interactions amongst them are not documented. 
  • Lastly, use cases have been chastised for failing to capture all the unexpected  errors and occurrences that may happen.

When to use User Story and Use Case

During product design, user stories may be used in a variety of ways. They’re utilised prior to use cases to kick up consumer-centric discussions.

Use cases may be applied in a variety of situations. They could be used to record the present system’s functionality. Whenever current software is changed, it may cause a slew of technical issues. Use cases assist in comprehending the larger view of the current system. As a result, issues may be averted before any modifications are implemented.


For requirements gathering and high-level stakeholder communication, arguing how a consumer will interact with a product or system is critical. There’s no reason why use cases can’t be incorporated into your agile process and utilised alongside user stories if they benefit your team. This principle is critical to the success of a product.

While creating user cases for your project, if you feel any kind of difficulty, please feel free to contact OSSystem experts for their help. Just fill the feedback form and describe the kind of issue you are facing, our experts would get back to you with appropriate examples or would help you formulate the user story.

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