Task: Prioritize Business Use Cases
This task focuses on identifying the architecturally-significant business use cases and on prioritization.
Disciplines: Business Modeling
  • To define the set of scenarios and business use cases that have a substantial architectural coverage or they are critical from an architectural standpoint.
  • To define input to the selection of the set of scenarios and business use cases that are to be analyzed in the current iteration.
  • To define the set of scenarios and business use cases that represent some significant, central functionality.
Prioritize Business Use Cases

Determine which business processes are most critical to explore in order to achieve the goals presented in the Artifact: Business Vision. Consider the highest-priority and highest-risk business goals, and then look for the business processes that support them. Be sure to look for business use cases or business scenarios from the outlined Business Use-Case Model (in Task: Find Business Actors and Use Cases) that represent some significant, central capability of the of the target organization or have large architectural coverage. Also consider use cases that employ many architectural elements or illustrate a specific, delicate point of the business architecture.

The selection of business processes (or scenarios, which are parts of business processes) must reflect both coverage and criticality.  Coverage is necessary to ensure that enough of the business systems are being considered. Business architecture concerns breadth, and coverage ensures a sufficient amount of it.  A few core business processes usually touch the breadth of the organization. Criticality, on the other hand, characterizes the business processes with the highest priority. Priority is derived from important or risky business goals, difficult or complex business processes, and new or vague business processes. Be especially attentive to vague business processes-they might be vague for a reason. Investigating a vague business process often clears up much uncertainty about the way different parts of the organization work together.

Also consider the business goals supported by the business use cases. Business goals that can be relatively easily achieved or offer high returns (that is, most strongly support the business strategy) are a good place to start. The business use cases supporting these business goals may have high priority.

Document Business Use Cases

The prioritized business processes or business scenarios should be documented in the business use-case view of the Business Architecture Document. See also Guideline: Business Architecture Document, the section on business process view.

Evaluate Your Results

The section in the Business Architecture Document addressing the business use-case view should be checked at this stage to verify that the work is on track. See Checklist: Business Architecture Document and Guideline: Business Architecture Document.

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