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7 March 2009

The difference between Use Cases and User Stories

I just watched an interview by Alistair Cockburn on InfoQ. Towards the end he talks about the difference between user stories and use cases. (You can skip to the specific question if you don't want to hear the whole thing.)

Among some of the unique user story features he notes are;
  • The ability to keep splitting user stories to fit them into sprints
  • The ability to address usability issues better
  • User stories are attached to value statements that help prioritise them
  • User stories help you identify the shortest path to a complete or releasable product
The other day I was listening to a discussion on the topic and it struck me there is another difference;
  • User stories are centered around the user
  • Use cases are centered around the system
Check out the wikipedia pages
And lastly have a read of this article by Scott Sehlhorst on the two types of requirements articulation: User Stories and Use Cases.

Picture by jakuza CC at Flickr.