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What is a use case?

A top level view of a business system can be provided through developing a business use case diagram.  Use cases represent things that an organisation, business system or IT system need to provide.  A business use case diagram shows the usage that stakeholders require of a system.  The use case diagram depicts the various functions of a system and the actors who are involved in using those functions.  A function may be defined as a set of actions that the business users want the IT system to support in order to achieve a specific goal.


For example the use case may provide a depiction of a customer account system, within such will be the various functions  that the business users want the system to support in order to achieve a specific goal.  A function may be described for example as ‘Record customer’, there would then be various actions that certain actors with access to the system can use, e.g. ‘validate customer details’.


How is a use case diagram created?

Use cases are usually created at the requirements documentation phase of the business analysis lifecycle. The analyst should work alongside the various actors within a given business system, so to understand fully the relationships between such. These requirements can usually be elicited through workshops, where the analyst would facilitate, asking the respective actors to discuss their roles and functions within the business system.


Things to consider

Business use case diagrams can be extremely useful when scoping a project or gaining an overview of the areas to be investigated and analysed. Some of the use cases on a use case diagram may be fulfilled by an IT system but not exclusively as some may be manual. Use cases are usually used in conjunction with requirement documents to design new business systems.

Use Cases

Kelly Hunkin

Senior Business Analyst

Tel: 01506 283885


Heather Adams

Business Analyst

Tel: 01506 282879


Email the Business Analysis team

Example of a use case diagram

Example of a use case diagram


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