Use Cases

As mentioned in the previous post, there are three advisory groups for the UKRDDS project and on 23 July they met online for the first time. The main purpose of the first set of meetings was to go through the user stories that were gathered at the first workshop and have been developed into use cases and will allow us to extract a set of requirements for the service.

All three meetings took place on Blackboard Collaborate and a recording is available at If you’re really interested, you may just want to listen to the first meeting as this turned out to be the most productive and the following two meetings had the same agenda.

In each meeting I went through the use case document (UKRDDS-UserStories-RefinedListdoc 20150729) and each use case in turn. This document had been made available on Google Docs so that all participants could provide comments in advance of the meetings. Participants were encourage to talk about the comments they’d added, if any, and contribute to the discussion.

The initial set of user stories had been collected from the first workshop. These had been collated and then categorised with similar user stories combined. The idea behind collecting user stories was that an initial set could be collected and then expanded on to form more detailed use cases, from which a clear set of requirements for the discovery service would emerge. Each user story had been prioritised using the MoSCoW method and these were reviewed during each meeting. Also, each user story has an owner (someone who has an interest in that particular user story and willing to take responsibility for ensuring the relevant information is correct), usually the person who suggested the user story, and these were reviewed.

Once the project team had reviewed the user stories, they were shared with the project participants via Google Docs. This initial set of 34 use cases then grew to 43 as extra ones were added. Each one was reviewed in the meetings. Although future meetings will have an agenda framed around the different types of user/expert in each group, these first meetings had the same agenda and I had the unenviable job of going through the 43 use cases in three meetings. While not all team members were able to make the meetings, David Wilson helped out with the Technical and Metadata Group and Alex Ball kindly helped out in all three. My thanks to them both.

I’m not planning on going through all the comments and 43 use cases in turn here, but the document has been updated to reflect the actions required and the discussions from each meeting. The next stage was to update the document to merge some use cases, update those that require clarification and produce a final set (now 44 use cases). This document (UKRDDS-UserStories-Updated 20150729) will be shared with all participants in the project for comment. This final step should be a quick process as it’s important that a line is drawn in the sand and the set of requirements is finalised. We are open to hearing about other use cases or requirements, but there is a danger of scope creep and delays to the project if we don’t derive an agreed set of requirements, from which we can evaluate the ANDS and CKAN software and start to build the discovery service, as soon as possible.

As the requirements evolve and the advisory group meet on a regular basis, updates will be provided on this blog. If you would like to contribute or provide feedback please contact me.

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