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Case Studies

Enhancing Scaled Agility with Use Case 2.0 and BDD Gherkin

Author: Bernard F. Clark

Best of both worlds

In this article I base my observations and opinions on my experience of applying the Use Case 2.0 Practice and Behavior Driven Development’s Gherkin language, within an online products division of a major US Bank that is undergoing an Agile transformation.

Enhancing Scaled Agility with Use Case 2.0 and BDD Gherkin

Delivering More Value to the Business at Dutch Railways (NS)

Author: Jordi Reinema


With 16.8 million inhabitants living within an area of 41,543 square kilometres (equivalent to approximately the size of the State of Maryland), the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Western Europe. It’s no wonder that travel by rail, because of proximity and ease of use, has become a preferred mode of transportation.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen / Dutch Railways (NS) is the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. It operates over 4,800 scheduled domestic trains a day, and serves 1.1 million passengers.

Business to employee technology plays an important part in ensuring a good customer experience. At NS, over 10,000 front-line staff access a device called the rail-pocket to help staff deliver services, such as ticket validation and trip or station updates. However, in 2014, after assessing the device’s technical limitations and an out-of-date operating system, NS launched an initiative to replace the rail-pocket with customized applications that run on company smartphones operating the Android mobile operating system. Their goal is to terminate the rail pocket device by summer 2016Introducing Use-Case 2.0 enabled NS to be as lightweight as they wanted by focusing on essentials and zooming in for more details when necessary. Use cases are “sliced up” to provide stories or scenarios for agile iterative development.

Using Use-Case 2.0 for agile projects seems to be an answer to the most important challenges we had on the specification and development side using the Scrum framework. We were able to offer the right level of specifications to our development team to let them work effectively in sprints, and it allowed our users to participate more directly in the development process, because the functionality is developed and released more shortly after user participation.”

Jordi Reineman *Manager Analysis & Design, Dutch Railways (NS) *

Keeping Development ‘On Track’ with Use-Case Slices at Dutch Railways

What others are saying

Use case 2.0 has been key to initiation of our new project. With a team that were new to Agile, Use Case 2.0 facilitated rapid visualisation of the business layer and development of rational slices for elaboration and prioritisation. Our Use Case 2.0 deployment is invaluable for demonstrating product scope to stakeholders and ensuring requirements are captured comprehensively.”
UK Public Sector Product Manager

Use Case 2.0 (or ‘Agile Use Cases’) has turned out to be the perfect solution for providing the business context, functional scope and just-in-time value-driven scenarios that fuel a prioritized backlog for agile delivery. The Use Case 2.0 approach facilitates the discovery and organization of User-centric scenarios or Slices, with the added benefit of producing definitive Test Cases for the Acceptance Criteria (which I had always found to be an area of ambiguity with ‘traditional’ User Stories). Use Case 2.0 has provided a natural bridge for the Enterprise to leverage its rich baseline of business processes, rules and requirements when transforming into Agile-centric delivery.”
Large US Bank

Using UC 2.0 is saving resource time on the project by identifying impacted requirements prior to creating stories. When we are INVESTing in stories now, they are well thought out and include the requirements.”
Project Management

With UC2.0 approach to identify and update the impacted Use Cases as per initial user story’s discussion helps QA to understand details/impact during the grooming discussion. Having these details/impacts allow QA to come up with more accurate sizing and start test prep early rather than waiting for Business Requirement Document updates later in the process.”
Team Lead

We have just started using UC 2.0 in our project and it’s been great! Discussing the use cases and the impact on the requirements early on has made the workflow smoother. From a design perspective, there is a better understanding of the work needed as well as the amount of work. I look forward to continuing this process moving forward.”
Senior Producer

UC2.0 approach helped in defining the story much better and it was possible to have rich details which led to more efficient grooming session with Development & QA teams and also reduced the time spent on ambiguities. It also helped in slicing the stories to manageable slices so they can be finished in one sprint”
Product Owner