Recently I had a discussion about the meaning of words with my wife. Most of the time, most people, play some degree of fast and loose with the definition of words and the structure of their sentences. However, there are some aspects of life and work where that will not stand, doctors visits, political discussions, and the writing of requirements. With that in mind, here is a couple simple “mad lib” for writing a clear requirement.
Form 1 Response Requirement: When <Subject> is <State> then <Action> shall happen to <Action object>.
In this form, the requirement specifies a response. For example, when my wife (subject) comes into the room (state) then I (action object) smile (action).
(Note: this should be fleshed out with definitions of “the room” and “smile”; e..g how long after, for how long. The good news is that this is a testable requirement. My wife enters rooms all the time so I can test it out tonight!
Form 2 State Check: When <Subject> is <State> then <Measured Object> shall have value <State>
This form enforces existing conditions, it can also be written in a “Before <Subject> is <State>…” form. An example is “Before the car <subject> is placed in park <state> the vehicle <measured object> shall have a velocity less then 0.1 mph <state>.
So what templates do you use?