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Applying use cases in project planning

Use-Cases Part II: Taming Scope: A List Apart

Use cases detail Lucid "A List Apart" article describing how to translate the programmer nerdiness of use cases for use in web project planning (although similar techniques would be helpful in any variety of project contexts).

We habitually storyboard new functionality for customers so that they can see the consequent increase in complexity. By doing so, we define options for the customer and then decide which bits of proposed functionality are the most important. We also use use-case diagrams to establish boundaries for the project; any use cases devised for the site later on are obviously change requests that add extra effort and therefore increase the project’s cost.

I wish all clients were wise and patient enough to walk through this level of detail before they started choosing new drapes and doorknobs. Understanding the critical pieces and dependencies is arguably the backbone of good project planning; you’ll never get to start coloring until everyone agrees where the lines need to go.

(Part I of the series is worth reading, too.)

About Merlin

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Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
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