Organization Pattern "Usecasing"

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Background

In my opinion, there are two fundamental approaches to knowledge and information management (KIM):

  • a theoretical approach and
  • a practical approach.

If we refer back to my aeronautics metaphor1, then

  • it's the engineers who are entrusted with implementing an aeronautical concept as a machine that is able to remain airborne by heeding the theoretical aeronautical principles at hand,
  • it's the pilots who are entrusted with rendering that machine useful for passengers by running the practical use cases envisaged by marketers and engineers and
  • notably, it's crucial that an airplane's user interface (i.e. its instruments and operating manuals) insinuate simple, concise and unmistakably clear access to those use cases, in accordance with regular or emergency needs as they are planned or arise.

Obviously these aspects hold true for any technical system. So, in the realm of knowledge and information management (KIM) in general and SMW in particular, there are

What do we want to achieve?

KIM and SMW use cases must be easily

  1. found (i.e. when you're looking for one by browsing or searching),
  2. discovered (i.e. when you're learning something),
  3. referenced/linked to and, of course,
  4. declared.

Let's start with how we declare use cases. There are the following 2 ways and both will be considered in our global use case view.

Declare use cases

Use Case "Declare a page section as a use case"

In this case, you add this template call as a page section: === {{Declare Use Case|Use case name}} ===. The template looks like this.

Use Case "Declare a use case by adding it as a component"

In this case you use [1]=Component+Type+863835 this form].

Find use cases

Currently only browsing for use cases is properly implemented on SMW CindyKate: either by use case view or by keywords.

A facetted search for use cases is pending as I await ElasticSearch 2.x to be available for MediaWiki.

Discover linked use cases

As you can see on my page, use cases can be linked to, and therefore made discoverable, by using template calls as depicted in Interface "Use Cases". The template looks like this.

References

  1. ^  Lex Sulzer: Knowledge Management: Flying only got successful once people stopped imitating birds