With all the different personalities and dynamics in the workplace, it’s easy for misinterpretations and confusion to occur. Suddenly, no one has a clue about what’s even supposed to be happening! It’s especially hard to get on track and stay on track if you’re a little fuzzy about the details yourself. So what’s the solution?

If you’re not familiar with use cases, let me introduce you. Use cases were created by Ivar Jacobson, in 1986, as a communication tool to be used in software and systems engineering. He wanted an approach that would distill all the important goals down to the most essential. By using simple stories, complicated goals could now be easily communicated in a way that everyone would understand. From shareholders, to project managers to developers; the meaning would be the same. This would allow the project to maintain it’s integrity through the process and having a clear direction would push the project forward. Over the years, it has been embraced by the business world as a whole. And it can be adapted and applied to just about any business project or goal.

How Do You Make One?

Do some brainstorming. Ask a lot of questions. Let’s use an example:

I’m starting a shiny new website. And I’m not sure what I need for hosting. So how will my site be used? What will people do while they’re on it? I’m going to create a list of these actions and this will guide my choices. I’ve got my eyes on future growth and speed. And I’m a little concerned about security. I had a bad previous experience with losing data and backups not being run, and I’d like to make sure that doesn’t happen again. And sure, that’s all great, but I have a really tight budget that’s calling all the shots. So I’m going to make a list of all these things and then prioritize it. This will be my use case. And now I know what I’m looking for and I can communicate that to the rest of my team.

My Use Case:

  • Within my budget
  • Options for future growth
  • Speed
  • Backups
  • Security

Using Your Use Case

When you’re not fuzzy on the details anymore, you can pass along your priorities to the rest of the members of your team. They will have the most essential information and can get to work, knowing exactly what’s most important to you. Use cases are a great communication tool to bring along on your way to building a successful business.


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