What are use cases and why do you need them?

One of our goals in distributing open source HR information systems is to put the power of designing and customizing systems into the hands of their stakeholders. Because our software carries an open source license, anyone can modify the software in any way, resulting in a customized solution developed by its own users.

When we design our own systems, we make extensive use of use cases to help us plan out what features we need and how they will work. A use case is a plain text document that describes how to achieve a specific goal, or function, using the system. Because use cases are simple and short, they are a great tool for communicating between non-technical stakeholders and developers what they want their system to do.

Check our knowledge base (on our wiki) for a full description of what a use case is and how to write one: Understanding Use Cases.

We also post the full use case reports for all three of our software products: iHRIS Qualify, Manage and Plan. You can download the reports from the software pages under the "More Information" heading. Making all of our use cases available for users to read and modify as they see fit is another way we have tried to open up our HRIS development project as much as possible.