Roles and Activities > Analyst Role Set > Business-Process Analyst > Find Business Actors and Use Cases
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|Role: Business-Process Analyst|
A business actor candidate is any individual, group, organization, company, or machine that interacts with the business, such as:
If the business you're going to model is part of a large company, these categories may also contain business actors:
Name each business actor in such a way that its name denotes its role in the business. Define each business actor by writing a brief description, including its responsibility and why it interacts with the business.
See Guidelines: Business Actor.
To find the primary business use cases, consider what value each business
actor gets from the business. Start with the primary and most important business
actors — the customers — and ask yourself:
What are the primary services a customer receives from the business?
A good tip is to study the customer's lifecycle to determine the answers to such questions as:
From a perspective of supporting the business, process can also be represented as business use cases. Look for the following kinds of activities:
From the perspective of managing the business, process can be represented as business use cases, although they are seldom as interesting from an information-system perspective. These types of processes are found by looking for activities that have to do with managing the business as a whole and they normally interact with the owner actors. Consider what the owner actors gets from the business. Look for these kinds of activities:
The lifecycle of a process of this kind often spans one fiscal year.
Another way to find business use cases is to have domain experts describe every activity in the existing business, then group these activities into business use cases, and name and briefly describe the use cases.
See Guidelines: Business Use-Case Model and Guidelines: Business Use Case for additional information.
Once you've identified the business actors and business use cases, you must prioritize those business use cases that are of interest and that you'll describe in some detail. This involves:
Often, you need a step-by-step outline of the workflow to understand the purpose of the business use case. The person who will later specify the business use caseeven if it's the same personwill need this step-by-step description.
The first draft of a step-by-step workflow description of the business use case "Individual Check-in" might look as follows.
- Passenger enters the queue to the check-in counter.
- Passenger gives ticket to check-in agent.
- Check-in agent validates ticket.
- Check-in agent registers baggage.
- Check-in agent reserves seat for the passenger.
- Boarding card is printed.
- Check-in agent gives passenger boarding card.
- Passenger leaves the check-in counter.
Note that this is a first draft, so it may very well lack activities that will be discovered later. You may also include alternative flows in this first draft.
Concentrate on the most important business use casesthose that represent the highest improvement potential. Can its scope be increased so that work originally done by the customer, or by no one, is now done by the target organization? Can the scope be diminished so the customer now works on things previously done by the target organization? A business use case is improved if it serves the customer better, which implies that it becomes simpler, produces better products, offers shorter lead times, and so on.
For each business use case, set up measurable goals that can be used to verify whether you have succeeded. Later, when the new target organization is established, you can use these goals to continuously measure how the business use cases are functioning and being improved.
See Guidelines: Business Use Case.
Establish those business actors who interact with the business use case by defining a communicates-association between them. If it's important to show who initiated the communication, you can add navigability to the association.
See Guidelines: Communicates-Association in the Business Use-Case Model.
If you have many business use cases, you can divide them into packages to make the documentation easier to understand.
Use-case diagrams illustrate the combination of business actors, business use cases, and their relationships. A diagram may contain any of the following:
See Guidelines: Use-Case Diagram in the Business Use-Case Model.
The Survey Description of the business use-case model needs to convey the following information:
You should check the business use-case model at this stage to verify that your work is on track. Do not review the model in detail. You should also consider the checkpoints for the business use-case model while you are working on it. The interested parties will have to determine if:
For more issues to review, see Checkpoints: Business Use-Case Model, Checkpoints: Business Use Cases, and Checkpoints: Supplementary Business Specifications.
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