Intro to Use Case Types

May 31, 2018

Analyzing or designing the various features and functions of a software system can be daunting, especially when there are multiple actors and other interfacing systems involved. Thankfully, analysts can turn to use cases to make this process much easier.

At the very minimum, an effective use case should:

  • define how stakeholders interact with a system
  • define how a system interacts with other systems
  • provide a common understanding of both stakeholder and system requirements

This article introduces the different types of use cases you may encounter and identifies some of the ways use cases are represented. Read more



Bank Secrecy Act Compliance

May 6, 2016

Map of Countries Under Sanction by the US Government

Compliance with regulations coming from governments and from industry associations is a big problem for our clients – whatever the industry. In working with several banks over the years, we’ve become adept at identifying gaps and designing solutions for one of the most wide-reaching regulations for such organizations: the Bank Secrecy Act – aka “BSA”.

The BSA was passed by the US Congress nearly 50 years ago. It stipulates reporting and auditing that banks must perform on themselves and their customers to identify potential money laundering, terrorist financing, and other criminal financial activities. Its requirements have only grown over the years – especially since the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US – when the federal government heightened requirements on banks and financial institutions to “partner” with it in fighting terrorists and their financial networks. Read more



Avoiding a Leaky Scope Bucket

July 1, 2014

There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
– children’s song, Bergliederbüchlein (c 1700)

In my prior article, I introduced the concept of a scope bucket to explain the concept of project scope to your stakeholders.  In this article, I continue the theme with some tips for managing and delivering the scope in your project scope bucket.

Read more



A Bucket of Scope

May 13, 2014

An architect relies on a clear understanding of scope.  In prior articles we have discussed the business context diagram, a great tool for establishing solution scope.  We also provided a technique for setting expectations regarding the scope of architecture activities.  In this article, I intend to expand on the importance of understanding (or establishing, if you are in a project lead role) the scope of a project.

Read more



Identify Indirect Stakeholders with System Context Diagrams

April 16, 2014

A Systems Flow consultant has skills that tend to fall in the triangle of technical, business and organizational excellence. One common and repetitive case of project dysfunction where this overlap brings real benefits is that of the “Operational Business Stakeholders Missing from Business Requirements.” Here’s how it usually goes:

  1. Architect is engaged to design project’s solution architecture (using the Investigative Architecture™ method)
  2. He/she is provided business requirements to review and comment on, to ensure they are fit for high-level design
  3. The requirements (hopefully) clearly state the end-user and product/service-centric objectives
  4. But how the end-users and the new/enhanced product or service will be supported operationally is completely missing
    Read more


Next Page »