The use cases : the different facets of our common activities

Image source: Marco Verch - Creative Commons license

How do we describe a use case? What are our use cases? Narrowing down to what is needed for our first prototype

Myriam Bouré
24 avril 2017

March, 2017. Third and fourth meeting.

Now the serious work starts. Aurele from the Virtual Assembly invites us to describe the different use cases that we share. But… what is a use case? Well in our food services activities, we all do similar things. Like for example, whatever the platform and service we propose to the producers, we need to be able to reference a producer in our systems. So this for example, is a use case : “referencing a producer”.

How do we describe a use case?

To describe a case, one must tell:

It’s interesting, when we went through the use cases, to discover some specificities of our respective platforms, how we handle things differently. A nice co-learning experience :-)

What are our use cases?

We managed to list the following use cases. Some of them are a bit crazy, but still, no judgment in a brainstorming :-) The list is not exhaustive.

  1. Referencing a producer : we all need a producer profile to be created in our system
  2. Creating a products catalog : we all need to allow the producers to create a list of the products they propose
  3. Modifying a products catalog : either the producer or the distributor hub need to be able to modify the product catalog
  4. Referencing a distributor hub : we need to create a profile for a distributor hub in our system before a shopfront can be created
  5. Sell products : we need the products to be sold either by the producer himself, either by a distributor hub
  6. Modify the list of products available for sale : a hub or producer need to be able to change the list of products that are for sale
  7. Set up a sales session : a distributor hub needs to be able to set up a sales period during which the sales are open, corresponding to a specific delivery date.
  8. Share stock levels : distributor hubs need to have an accurate real time information of the available stock they can sell.
  9. Receiving an order : producers need to access the aggregated information about what has been ordered through a specific distributor hub and when and where it has to be delivered
  10. Transport/deliver the products: producers and hubs need to be able to organize the transportation of the products and respect all the legal / administrative constraints attached.
  11. Trace a product : we need to be able to trace some legal information attached to a product (like the expiration date)
  12. Localize a product : we need to be able to know at each moment where is the product sold.
  13. Invoice products : hubs need clients to receive an invoice for the products they have bought.
  14. Contact a producer : buyers and hubs needs to be able to contact a producer
  15. Share statistical data : all platforms share an interest to promote the local food sector as a whole and institutions/associations need access to general statistical data in order to share a global picture of the sector

Let’s narrow this down to what is needed for our first prototype.

In order to learn and experiment on a simple case the interoperability of our platforms, we need a prototype. An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that we can then iterate on. To avoid all the hard questions of data governance and sensitive contents, we decided to start on a very simple case : a directory. An external platform would be able to display cross-platforms information, like producers and distribution hubs, and would allow requests in all those platforms. For example, on this platform, you would be able to search for a product, and you would see which distribution hubs you can buy this product from on a map. Easy, no? Thibault who started Mooveat is willing to host that first prototype.

So in order to move forward on that prototype, we decided to stick to the first 4 use cases, which we believe are the ones we need to implement the prototype.

Next step

Now that we have our main use cases ready, and we have agreed on a common description, next step will be to describe the semantic model of business concepts. Out of those use cases, we will list the different concepts (actors, things, actions, places, times, etc.) and then draw a model and link those different concept. We’ll share the result in a following post when it’s done, be patient :-)

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